North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust has launched a new one-stop outpatient clinic service designed to assess, investigate and treat people suffering from rectal bleeding.
Following an investment into a handheld digital endoscope known as the LumenEye, healthcare professionals at the clinics will be able to take images and videos of the rectum to diagnose the reason behind any bleeding.
Many patients examined at the clinics, based at the University Hospital of North Tees, will be as outpatient procedures, in which colorectal specialists will provide diagnosis and treatment planning upon viewing the Lumeneye examination video remotely.
Commenting on the new initiative, Abdalla Mustafa, Consultant Surgeon, University Hospital of North Tees, said: “This technology means we can run a one-stop clinic where assessment, investigation and possible treatment can be performed at the same setting. We can visualise the rectum in an outpatient setting without the need for an endoscopy appointment.
“If any cancer is seen, tissue samples can be taken to expedite diagnosis and patient journey to treatment. It means we can quickly diagnose many issues – giving patients that peace of mind by removing the need for many costly and time-wasting investigations. It also means we can free up appointments in the endoscopy unit for other patients.”
Nicola Maguire, Consultant Surgeon, University Hospital of North Tees, added: “This new system will allow us to change the way we care for our patients – and shorten the time it takes to make a diagnosis and reduce any worries patients may have. It allows us to perform a digital examination while standing straight and talking to the patient.
“We are excited to have it here at the organisation, we are sure that our population across the Tees Valley will benefit from it.”