Hospital bosses to outline shake-up in public meeting - The Evesham Observer

Hospital bosses to outline shake-up in public meeting

Evesham Editorial 17th Aug, 2019   0

HEALTH chiefs will reveal more about plans for a major shake-up of services at Evesham Community Hospital to meet the growing demand for endoscopies at a public meeting.

The Observer revealed last week how health chiefs had mooted a £130,000 investment to increase the number of such treatments from 294 to 645 a year in a bid to tackle rising waiting times.

Some procedures would also move from the Waterside site to the Kidderminster Treatment Centre or the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch to free up theatre space.

Vale residents can find out more about the plans during the presentation from Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust bosses from 6pm to 8pm on Monday (August 19) in the main conference Room at Evesham Community Hospital’s training centre.

Anyone unable to attend can email a question to wah-tr.haveyour [email protected]

By making better use of the current operating theatre space at Evesham and investing in more equipment, staff and improved facilities, doctors, nurses and hospital bosses plan to reduce waiting times and improve patient care for thousands of patients.

Dr Julian Berlet, consultant anaesthetist and divisional director of medicine for the Specialised Clinical Services Division at the trust, said: “By investing around £130,000 in the current financial year in extra equipment, and £260,000 a year in future years, we could increase the number of Evesham patients having their endoscopy at Evesham Community Hospital from 294 each year to 645.”

Richard Lovegrove, consultant colorectal surgeon and clinical lead for endoscopy at the trust, said: “An endoscopy can often play a key part in diagnosis, and surveillance for many cancer patients. This means it is important that patients needing endoscopies get them in a timely fashion so that their treatment can begin without undue delay. This would make a real difference to those patients, helping us to speed up their diagnosis and start treatment more quickly, all whilst remaining in their local community.”

Graham James, consultant maxillofacial surgeon and deputy chief medical officer at the trust, said: “We have not been able to use the operating theatres as well as we would like, because of difficulties in identifying suitable patients and recruitment challenges for theatre staff.

“This means we aren’t making the most of the facilities at Evesham, or getting the best out of the time of our theatre teams.

“Our surgical teams have suggested that if we can offer the patients who would previously have had these operations at Evesham a choice of having them at one of our other hospitals – probably Kidderminster or the Alexandra at Redditch – the operating theatre space and time freed up could be used much more efficiently for endoscopy patients.”

The first step would be to move operations from Evesham to other hospital sites to enable new equipment needed for the expanded endoscopy service to be fitted. That would be followed by a phased increase in the number of endoscopies being carried out.

The expanded unit, which would also continue to carry out around 25 per cent of the procedures currently offered in the operating theatres, including the pain clinic, would be expected to working at full capacity in 18 to 24 months, with around 8,670 patients benefiting, up from 2,600 now.

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