Endoscopy team pulls together to provide excellent care

The endoscopy department at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital is a diagnostic screening for cancer services for a range of specialities.

Catherine Lilley, senior sister in the department explains:

“We are a very busy department with 31 members of staff. We carry out roughly 11,000-12,000 appointments a year – which is an average of 288 per week. Not only do we operate five endoscopy rooms, we also go and visit patients around the hospital. Every day is different.

But obviously when Covid hit, our service was suspended as our staff were redeployed to help in other areas of the hospital.

When we came back to the department to resume our activity we had a backlog of 2,000 patients – we’re proud to say that we cleared this backlog by August this year, leaving us free to offer patients an appointment within the government’s cancer waiting times. This has been a huge achievement for us all.

We did this with the amazing help of our admin team – Catherine Wilson, admin office manager and Lorna Johnson, senior team leader, alongside Leigh Ainsley, waiting list manager.

The admin team worked extremely hard daily to maximise each appointment slot. This has been a huge help in us getting through the backlog. Our admin team also have been redeployed to help other areas in the hospital. Coming back to Endoscopy the admin team dealt with backlog/catch up effectively and efficiently.  

Our team is very friendly and we work in a fast paced environment – we’re a really good team with good working relationships. Endoscopists always pull together and cover each other lists to make sure that our patients don’t miss their appointments.”

Rachael Short, Endoscopy Unit Manager/Nurse Endoscopist, adds: “Our endoscopy department has a great reputation and is seen as an example of good practice in the endoscopy world. We’re a renowned unit and have had JAG Accreditation since 2006 (which is only awarded to high-quality endoscopy services). We’re also a training centre so doctors come to us to be trained in endoscopy. We also offer Bowel Cancer Screening services to our patients.”