Hospital chiefs eye service changes - The Evesham Observer

Hospital chiefs eye service changes

Rob George 9th Aug, 2019 Updated: 9th Aug, 2019   0

A MAJOR shake-up of services at Evesham Community Hospital to meet the growing demand for endoscopies has been mooted by county health chiefs, the Observer can reveal.

Health chiefs have proposed 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 but said some procedures would move from the Waterside site to the Kidderminster Treatment Centre or the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch to free up theatre space.

The popular pain clinic would not be moved under the proposals being put forward, according to the briefing document seen by the Observer.

Evesham Community Hospital currently offers surgical and diagnostic procedures for local residents as well as patients from across the county but health chiefs have proposed the changes to meet the ‘high and growing’ demand for endoscopy.

Endoscopy covers several different types of diagnosis and treatment but always involves a tube put into the body to examine, take samples from or even operate on a patient’s internal organs.

Under the proposals, cystoscopy and gastroscopy procedures would be moved to Evesham with colonoscopies remaining at Kidderminster, the Alex and the Worcestershire Royal.

The six-figure sum this year would be followed by £260,000 in subsequent years to fund extra equipment.

“We have not been able to use these theatres as well as we would like, because of difficulties in identifying suitable patients and recruitment challenges for theatre staff,” the document said.

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

An estimated 130 patients a month are treated for other procedures according to the trust who claim just 20 to 30 patients are from Evesham itself. Around 100 to 120 Evesham patients a month have endoscopies but only 20 to 30 undergo the procedure at the Waterside hospital.

Health chiefs claim the move for other surgical procedures to Kidderminster or the Alex would free up operating space but ensure one in four non-endoscopy surgeries would remain at the hospital.

“Overall we would expect these changes to eventually result in a net increase of people being seen at Evesham for their procedure from 2,6000 patients up to initially 6,000 each year, with a further aspiration to increase to 8.670 within two years, including pain services,” the document said.

Chair of the Friends of Evesham Community Hospital, Frances Smith, said: “The move would mean there would be no other surgical procedures in Evesham, they all would be done at other sites.”

“I would like to see operations left as they are, if they want to increase endoscopies great, it’s another service for our hospital.

“But I would like to see a consultation with the people of Evesham before any changes go ahead,” she added.

Should the plans go ahead, the new equipment will be moved to the hospital from the end of the month with procedures beginning in October and increased over the next two years.

Staff from the Trust will be giving a presentation on the plans in the main conference room at Evesham Community Hospital Training Centre on Monday, August 19 between 6pm and 8pm and local residents are invited to attend.

If you are unable to attend but have a question you would like answered, e-mail [email protected]

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