In mid-2016, the Gastroenterology Unit at NNUH was facing an increase in demand for endoscopy services due in part to the growing elderly population in Norfolk. Another contributing factor is the fact that the unit is a national centre of excellence and is the provider of choice for the over 800,000 residents of Norfolk and over 100 referring GPs. The unit is a regional bowel screening centre and has been declared by the JAG as being the largest endoscopy service in the UK. There were staffing challenges which limited the unit’s ability to increase capacity by running a 7-day service.
18 Week Support Gastroenterology (18WS) led by Dr Matthew Banks visited the trust to meet with the operational managers as well as the clinical and nurse leads. This initial meeting allowed both parties to undertake a thorough capacity review, agree inclusion and exclusion criteria, approve governance arrangements, agree key performance indicators and finalise details of a bespoke service specification. The weekend service commenced in July 2016 and involves the provision of clinical services delivered by expert teams of JAG accredited clinicians and specialist endoscopy nurses.
"The team stopped me feeling nervous! They were kind, caring, helpful, professional – all in all brilliant, and very hard working."