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3 November 2023
Incredible news from a successful Endoscopy training pilot
Following InHealth’s involvement in a unique and sector-first endoscopy training pilot, we are thrilled to share that a formal review of this initiative has highlighted how partnership working with our NHS colleagues could provide a new solution to supporting more patients with endoscopy services.  

Demand for gastrointestinal endoscopy has never been higher, but a key challenge to increasing activity is the availability of trained and qualified endoscopists. Within this context, we made an offer to provide training lists from our Prime Endoscopy site, to Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board (BNSSG ICB) to support them with their backlog, which in recent month has seen a very high number of patients waiting more than 6 weeks for endoscopy.
Our Bristol site is both a JAG accredited independent endoscopy unit and also holds JAG and JETS training accreditation, already providing ‘cold site’ endoscopy services for BNSSG ICB, so we felt that it would be an ideal place to trial a new approach to training.  

Essentially, the trial would see our highly skilled and trained InHealth endoscopy team, buddy up with trainees and deliver on-the-job training, in our state-of-the-art facilities. Over the course of the 18 week pilot, the gastroscopy trainee reached more than 250 procedures, which would have taken 58 weeks had the training taken place in the acute Trust. Similarly, based on extrapolation of the pilot trajectory, the colonoscopy trainee would have reached more than 280 procedures after 54 weeks – at the acute Trust site, this would have taken 183 weeks and equates to an acceleration in training of 129 weeks.

This pilot has been so successful, that we have entered it for an HSJ Partnership Award, as well as submitting the final report to the Frontline Gastroenterology journal. We are also taking the findings of this project and applying learnings to the wider South West Community Diagnostic Centre contract, in order that we ensure our endoscopy services deliver as much of an impact as possible.  

To understand more about this pilot, our Chief Executive Geoff Searle, recently went to meet the team at Prime Endoscopy, alongside Amelia Staniland, Chief Operating Officer for CDCs and together with everyone involved, the InHealth Board is also really excited about what comes next and how we can potentially roll out this model in other areas of the country.  

It took significant trust and belief from both our Executive Team, endoscopy colleagues and our NHS partners to support the initial idea, given that this is an area that we have not explored before and until now, has not been seen as a standard approach to progress.  

To find out more about the pilot, or if you have thoughts about how the training principles could be applied in your area, please reach out to David Tee, Service Development Manager, who will be very happy to talk more about it.  

A HUGE well done to everyone involved in this project – what a fantastic demonstration of how our values of fresh-thinking and passion can make such a significant difference in ensuring our patients receive the very best care, as quickly as possible.