New £4.99 million endoscopy training centre opens at Torbay Hospital

Photo of our new Endoscopy Training Centre opening ceremony

Published: 17 November 2023

A new multi-million-pound endoscopy centre has opened at Torbay Hospital to treat more people who are awaiting diagnosis and treatment for cancer and bowel disease.

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.

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.”

Lord Darling was invited to open the centre after he and his wife, Lady Darling after their generous donation during the summer enabled the endoscopy team to run a weekend of extra diagnostic tests in July.

Dr Neale added: “Thanks to their generosity 60 local people who were waiting for a diagnostic test for potential cancer or bowel disease received a faster diagnosis. I cannot overstate the impact of Lord and Lady Darling’s support which made a significant difference to people’s outcomes. Thank you so much, we are so grateful.”

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, and a £15 million acute medical unit last December. A new £15million investment in two new theatres will open in January which will significantly increase capacity, with an extra 4,500 people treated each year needing hip, knee and eye operations.