Image: The entrance to the new endoscopy building at Torbay Hospital.

A new multi-million-pound endoscopy centre at Torbay Hospital is now open and will treat more people who are awaiting diagnosis and treatment for cancer and bowel disease.

Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust’s endoscopy service carries out around 200 procedures a week, and the extra room in the new centre will enable more people to be seen more quickly, resulting in a quicker diagnosis, and improved patient experiences and outcomes.

The unit was funded by NHS England to address diagnostic delays and improve cancer outcomes, and extra funding from the South West Endoscopy Training Academy to create a state-of-the-art training centre will help train the region’s future endoscopists and nurses in modern buildings that are fit for the 21st century.

Dr James Neale, consultant gastroenterologist and lead for endoscopy, said: “Early detection of lower and upper gastro-intestinal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease is so important to give people the best possible outcomes.

“We are committed to making sure people are seen and can begin their care as quickly as possible, and our new centre will enable us to see and treat more people, reduce waiting times, and improve people’s experiences and outcomes.”

The opening marks another significant milestone in the trust’s Building a Brighter Future work to improve people’s experiences and outcomes of care following the opening of a £2.8 million radiotherapy planning CT suite in October 2023, and a £15 million acute medical unit in December 2022.

A new £15million investment in two new theatres is now complete and opened in February 2024 which will significantly increase capacity, with an extra 4,500 people treated each year needing hip, knee and eye operations.

The Torbay endoscopy training centre was opened by Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust chairman Sir Richard Ibbotson and Lord Julian Darling on Tuesday 14 November 2023.