Gastrointestinal Endoscopy service gets national accreditation

Published: 29 February 2016

The Gastrointestinal Endoscopy service at Torbay Hospital has recently been awarded national accreditation for the quality of service it provides.

The Joint Advisory Group on Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (JAG) is an independent national assessor of Endoscopy Units, which represents the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, and ensures the quality and safety of patient care by defining and maintaining the standards for endoscopic practice.

JAG accreditation is given to units that meet the required standards of staffing, training, decontamination and audit as well as maintaining patient privacy and dignity.

Over the last year, staff have focussed on three main areas to improve the service for patients. The unit has undergone renovations aimed at ensuring privacy and dignity; with additional discharge rooms now available for private consultations, public and patient areas clearly separated, and more toilet facilities. Patients now have a greater choice over their appointment time following the introduction of a new appointment booking process. The pre-assessment service has also been streamlined, with the majority of appointments now carried out over the telephone.

Torbay Hospital’s Endoscopy unit is a regional training centre and is the only examination centre in the South West for candidates wishing to become Bowel Cancer Screening Endoscopists. In addition, working in partnership with the University of Plymouth, degree level modules are taught for Gastrointestinal (GI) nurses, as well as the national GI nurse training programme.

An endoscopy is a test that looks inside the body using a long thin flexible tube that has a light and a tiny video camera to relay images to a computer screen. The endoscopy department helps to diagnose and treat problems related to the oesophagus, stomach, biliary ducts and the colon.

Endoscopy lead for Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, Dr Mark Feeney, said: “This is a wonderful achievement for the Trust and is the result of the clinical, administrative and managerial teams working closely together to improve the Endoscopy service for our patients.”