Nurses lead national endoscopy pilot
Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust is piloting a national endoscopy training programme
Two nurses from a leading teaching hospital trust are spearheading a national pilot to train more non-medical health professionals in gastrointestinal endoscopy.
Consultant nurse endoscopists Harriet Watson and Fiona Hibberts have helped to launch the pilot at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with Health Education England and the Royal College of Physicians.
The six-day programme, which launched last month, contains elements of the national nurse endoscopist course set up by the two nurses in 2013 and includes interactive learning and simulation training.
Ms Watson, a colorectal consultant nurse, said: ‘Over the years I have witnessed a massive gap in the advanced training of non-medical endoscopists. They may have been taught how to get from A to B with a camera, but the theory side of their training was missing.’
She said the majority of health professionals taking part in the six-month pilot are nurses, but there are also practitioners from the operating department and radiographers.
‘We will have to wait for the pilot results, but this is a huge step in the right direction. If the Department of Health want to address the national shortage of gastrointestinal endoscopists, they need to be prepared to invest in training.’