Trust Treats its 1000th Regional Red Flag Endoscopy Patient at Lagan Valley

25th July 2023
Day Procedure patients Anne May & James Walker with Roisin Coulter (Chief Executive, South Eastern Trust) & Peter May (Permanent Secretary, Dept of Health)

The South Eastern Trust is proud to have carried out its 1000th suspect cancer Endoscopy procedure at the Day Procedure Centre (DPC) on the Lagan Valley Hospital (LVH) site, since the service began in November 2022.

Patients travel from across Northern Ireland to avail of this regional service and most importantly have received their suspect cancer diagnostic procedure earlier than if they had remained in their nearest Trust.

Drive time statistics show that almost 73% of the population is within a 60 minute drive of Lagan Valley Hospital.

This vital regional initiative is helping to reduce waiting times.

The Trust now treats around 20 patients during the week and an average of 48 patients at the weekend. Further expansion is planned from July this year, with evening lists being piloted.

Demand for diagnostic Endoscopy is growing at an exceptional rate, therefore a team of skilled Endoscopy Practitioners is required to meet the needs of the region.

This increase in demand is due to a number of reasons including, the better uptake of bowel screening, an emphasis on early diagnosis and an increase in the number of elderly people in the UK (rise by 80% in less than 20 years) who require endoscopic diagnosis.

Peter May, Permanent Secretary, Department of Health said, “I am delighted to see the real benefits the Day Procedure Centres are starting to bring to patients in Northern Ireland and want to acknowledge the outstanding effort and achievement of the team at Lagan Valley Hospital in reaching this significant regional milestone. The continued increase in Endoscopy provision at Lagan Valley Hospital over the Summer will provide a welcome boost to our Health Service when it is most needed.  Congratulations to all involved in making this a success.”

Endoscopy patient, James Walker described his experience and commented, “I was referred to Lagan Valley Day Procedure Centre following a bowel screening test for further investigations.  Following a procedure, I was diagnosed with bowel cancer. The diagnosis was a shock to me, but the staff in the Centre were absolutely fantastic, they reassured me and made me feel at ease.

I have the upmost respect for the staff in the Centre, thanks to them, I am still on my feet. Without the procedure to diagnose my bowel cancer, I would not be here today.”

Assistant Director for Elective Services Christine Allam added, “I am so very proud of all the staff involved in this fantastic service. Everyone has shown commitment and enthusiasm to ensure it is established and is now providing a timely and safe service for the people of Northern Ireland.

“The Regional Day Procedure Centre is transforming and increasing the capacity of services in our Health and Social Care Service (HSC).  There is robust evidence to show that concentrating some specialised procedures on a smaller number of hospital sites, separated from emergency care, means more patients can be treated.”

Director of Surgery, Elective Care, Maternity & Paediatrics in the Trust, Maggie Parks stated, “Endoscopy demand within Northern Ireland is growing so fast. Around 82,000 procedures are required per year and up to 60,000 non-complex Endoscopy procedures are also potentially suitable to be undertaken in Regional Day Procedure Centres.

“I am delighted that the South Eastern Trust, with its team of dedicated staff, can provide such an essential service for everyone in Northern Ireland.”