A new endoscopy training academy has been formed to help train the region’s next generation of stomach and bowel specialists.
As part of the new Northern Endoscopy Training Academy, a state-of-the-art training department was launched from the Rutherford Morison unit at the University Hospital of Hartlepool on Friday.
The academy is a collaboration of health organisations from across the North East and North Cumbria. It will include a manager and clinical lead working from North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.
Endoscopy is a vital test for the early diagnosis of diseases of the stomach and bowel. The specialty forms a key part of the NHS post-Covid recovery strategy. The tests involve the insertion of a flexible tube (endoscope) into the body to examine, diagnose and treat issues around:
- Lower bowel
The Trust’s new facility is based in an existing endoscopy unit treating patients across Teesside. It includes the opening of four new training rooms – with cutting-edge virtual and simulation technology.
The NETA was officially opened by professor Namita Kumar, postgraduate dean at Health Education England North East.
Trust consultant becomes clinical lead for NETA
Chris Wells, a consultant gastroenterologist who has led the endoscopy training centre at the Trust since 2010, is now the clinical lead for the NETA.
He said: “This is really exciting news for Hartlepool to play a leadership role in endoscopy training across the North East and North Cumbria.
“The UK leads the world in endoscopy training and we provide a structured program to teach our learners.
“The unit here at Hartlepool has delivered high quality endoscopy training courses for a decade. And it is very well regarded nationally.
“Although this training is of a high quality, the access to training is variable across our region, all trainees don’t get the same opportunities to develop. As such, the time to reach competence can vary, depending on where the training takes place.”
What does the training involve?
The academy has pulled together all of the existing training elements in the North East and North Cumbria and pooled the expertise of the region’s endoscopy trainers. This has included the addition of a block of intensive training, known as an immersion block, for each of our regional endoscopy trainees.
New training rooms have been created to deliver immersion training with the support of:
- NHS England and Innovation
- Health Education England
- Local health trusts through the regional Integrated Care Board
Our Trust will be the host employer for the academy – with Nicola Robinson being appointed as manager.
Nicola said: “Each trainee will get the same training, which will start with a two to three day training course. It is supported by either a two or four week immersion training block at one of the sites, and followed by regular training at the trainee’s base site.
“This accelerated training will mean our trainees reach competence more quickly, allowing them to become vital parts of the diagnostic workforce.
“The enhanced unit at Hartlepool now has four high level training rooms, each linked audio-visually to an expanded seminar room.
“The newly developed unit will continue to deliver basic skills training courses and trainer development courses. The unit will now host immersion trainees alongside our sister unit at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and our partners in Newcastle and Sunderland.
“It will also provide the training needed for those currently working within the Trust.”
The Trust also welcomes doctor Fraser Brown as the NETA research fellow. As well as delivering teaching, Fraser will be researching aspects of endoscopy education to identify how best to support trainer development.
Roisin Bevan, consultant gastroenterologist at the Trust, has also been appointed as the immersion lead.
She is a vastly experienced educator, having been training programme director for the regional gastroenterology training scheme and having led the base site training within the Trust.
Dr Wells added: “We are proud to be part of a collaboration of health organisations across the region.
“The NETA is an exciting innovation in endoscopy education and we are delighted to be a key part of it.”