The Endoscopy team have been awarded the highest possible grading by national assessors.
The JAG (Joint Advisory Group on Gastrointestinal Endoscopy) accreditation scheme sets standards for all endoscopy providers in the UK and has a three-tier rating system. The service here was given accreditation one - the top tier - after a meticulous inspection.
Joncy Mannual, endoscopy unit manager, said: “We have to submit documents every year to the JAG and every five years they visit. This year was the visit. Four inspectors spent the day here looking at our clinical quality, the workforce, training and patient experience.”
“It’s a comprehensive review,” added nurse endoscopist Scott Mackenzie. “There are strict standards and they’ve got guidelines on everything from the layout of the unit to how dirty scopes are processed, how clean scopes are processed, where patients sit, where patients get changed, where patients are admitted.
“The accreditation has an impact on how much money the Trust and the department get from the NHS for every patient. If you get 100% - and we got 100% - you get the full financial reward for it.
“It was stressful period; everybody was working hard writing reports and getting the audits together. It involved a lot of cooperation from the the upper and lower GI surgeons, the gastroenterologists and the nurses and HCAs, and it’s relief we’ve finally got the certificate.”
Last year the department saw over 7,000 patients, with procedures taking anything from 20 minutes to an hour. Patient feedback has been excellent.
Scott said: “Recently we called 100 patients and there was only one complaint - the patient wanted a better selection of biscuits after the procedure! We took that on board so hopefully they’ll be happier next time.”
Dr Chirag Oza, consultant gastroenterologist, hepatologist and clinical lead for endoscopy, was delighted with the JAG verdict and said it had been a real team effort: “We wouldn’t have done it without all of the hard work put in by not only Joncy but Scott and everybody in the team. We’re very pleased.”
The team’s one area of frustration is the number of cancellations and no-shows they get, which they put down to the lack of a pre-assessment clinic. It’s an issue they are determined to remedy.
“We’re really looking forward to putting together a business plan to get pre-assessment nurses here,” said Joncy. “If we do the pre-assessment here, we can stop the DNAs and cancellations. That’s been documented by the JAG and it’s vital we do it to meet the waiting lists.”