Inroads will be made into the waiting list for a procedure which can help detect bowel cancer after Health & Social Care brought in a company to run weekend clinics.
Around 50 patients waiting for gastroenterology endoscopy procedures will be seen each weekend in nine sessions over a 12-week period under the £1m. initiative.
Pre-Covid the waiting list was under 150 patients but by March 2021 the number had risen to 492. As at the end of April 2023, the inpatient waiting list for symptomatic gastroenterology patients was 536.
UK firm Medinet, which has provided consultants and nurses to carry out endoscopy procedures in hospitals across the UK for more than 17 years, has won a tender to provide the clinic.
“I am delighted that we are now able to announce Medinet as our partner to address the gastroenterology waiting list," said Medical Director Peter Rabey.
“Medinet has been chosen following a very thorough tender process and they have demonstrated their considerable expertise in gastroenterology surgery along with their commitment to delivering the highest quality care to their patients."
Pictured: Dr Peter Rabey.
He said that patients being referred to the clinics will receive the same high standard of care had they continued to wait until they could be seen by an on-island consultant.
HSC is now contacting patients.
The initiative is delayed, in January the committee said it hoped to get under way within two months, and that was nearly a year after it was first identified as being needed.
Pictured: Tables showing contract patients that are waiting for routine eight weeks appointments or admissions as of May.
If successful, it will allow the bowel cancer screening programme to begin again. That has been repeatedly paused over the past two years and, most recently, in the last quarter of 2022 when a locum who was due to start working in Guernsey changed their mind.
Anne Brouard, Chairperson of Bowel Cancer Guernsey, said: “We are pleased to hear weekend clinics to reduce the waiting list for endoscopy procedures will be implemented, however of course, we would have liked the initiative to have started sooner and are disappointed it has taken so long.
“We've been working closely with dedicated medical professionals for some time and we're grateful to those who have committed to making this initiative a reality.
“It will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the lives of those awaiting endoscopy procedures, providing them with the reassurance and peace of mind they deserve.
“Bowel Cancer Guernsey will continue to monitor the situation to ensure bowel cancer screening recommences as soon as practical. It remains committed to raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer, it is important that anyone who has any symptoms or concerns regarding their health visits their GP.”
When the screening programme is running routinely around 5,500 kits are sent out to those aged 60 and above every two years until they are 70.
Anyone experiencing the following symptoms should make an appointment to see their doctor as soon as possible:
• Bleeding from your bottom or blood in your poo
• A change in your bowel habit such as looser poo, pooing more often or constipation
• A lump that you can feel in your bottom or tummy
• Unexplained weight loss or
• Pain in your abdomen or back passage
Further information on signs and symptoms can be found at https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/bowel-cancer.
Once your comment has been submitted, it won’t appear immediately. There is no need to submit it more than once. Comments are published at the discretion of Bailiwick Publishing, and will include your username.
There are no comments for this article.