A new initiative being delivered from Bodmin Hospital is bringing care closer to patients’ homes. 

Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust’s (RCHT) community trans-nasal endoscopy service gives patients more flexibility and choice on where to receive the procedure and is freeing up space at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro. 

Endoscopy is a procedure that allows doctors to examine the lining of the food pipe, stomach and small intestine. A thin, flexible tube, called an endoscope is passed through the nose and down the back of the throat. Compared to a gastroscope, endoscopy is a lot smaller and more comfortable, and patients can go home shortly after having it performed.  

Patients need to be referred by their GP to use the new service.  

Roz Davies, specialist services and surgery general manager at RCHT said: “Endoscopy tends to be tied to hospitals. However, with advances in mobile ventilation and decontamination of endoscopes, we can deliver this service away from the acute hospital site and deliver this within treatment rooms at our fabulous community hospitals. This then allows us to undertake the larger and more complex procedures on site in the space released. 

“Trans-nasal endoscopy doesn’t need the sedation and long recovery time of other endoscopies, allowing the procedure to be completed in a different environment and community hospitals are the perfect place to deliver these procedures closer to the patients’ home.” 

The service is delivered by RCHT’s clinical nurse endoscopists and physician associates which allows greater flexibility to deliver the service across the county and means consultants can remain on the larger hospital sites to deliver complex endoscopy. 

Roz said: “We are fortunate to have such an innovative gastroenterology  team here in Cornwall that have embraced and delivered this community endoscopy service. It is a fantastic model for rural communities and certainly for our county which suffers from food, fuel and digital poverty. Our team has collectively worked through how to help our community and has created an inspiring concept for our patients. We are very proud of what’s been achieved, and how well the service is being received.” 

Patient Guilianna Williams explained how convenient using the service was: “It was easier at Bodmin Hospital as it was local to me. The staff were so friendly and put me at ease. The environment was calm, which helped me relax, there were no side-effects and I left pretty quickly afterwards.”