Mobile unit helps Manchester health trusts reduce waiting list backlog

Vanguard solution enables additional endoscopy procedures to be undertaken

A mobile healthcare unit, complete with staff, is being utilised to help address the backlog for endoscopy procedures across Greater Manchester

A mobile healthcare solution is helping to address a backlog in endoscopy across Greater Manchester.

As part of an initiative developed by the Greater Manchester Elective Reform Programme, Vanguard Healthcare Solutions, and 18-Week Support; a dual-procedure endoscopy suite is operating at Fairfield General Hospital in Bury.

The Greater Manchester Elective Reform Programme, through the GM Provider Federation Board, which brings together health providers across the region, worked together with Vanguard to create the innovative solution.

The design includes a Vanguard mobile laminar-flow theatre with two procedure rooms which have been seamlessly integrated with a multi-room bespoke temporary modular building, also created by Vanguard.

A number of NHS partners have been working together to support the recovery of services as a region, and this is one of the first projects to provide access for all regional patients

As well as the two procedure rooms, the suite, which is sited separately to the main hospital building, includes a six-bed recovery bay, two consultation rooms, and full staff and patient facilities.

And it has been specially commissioned by Greater Manchester Provider Federation Board to support the delivery of endoscopy services across Greater Manchester following the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

To assist the trust to staff the unit, Vanguard is also providing a unit facilitator, while 18 Week Support, the UK’s largest clinical insourcing healthcare provider, has sourced eight specialist endoscopy nurses and two clinical consultants to ensure the unit can be operational seven days a week.

During its first six months the unit has been supporting patients from hospitals across four trusts, including Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Stockport NHS Foundation Trust and Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust. Procedures include full colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, and gastroscopy.

On average, each day’s list accumulates around 48-52 JAG points and lists are run on a single-gender basis daily.

And the project has been such a success that the initial six-month contract has now been extended for a further six months, with the unit now due to remain on site until the end of the year.

Asia Bibi, programme manager at the Greater Manchester Elective Reform Programme, who has been overseeing the project, said: “A number of NHS partners have been working together to support the recovery of services as a region, and this is one of the first projects to provide access for all regional patients.

“I am pleased at the pace we have been able to set this up in order to restore services for our patients.

“Furthermore, waiting times for an endoscopic procedures have reduced considerably as a result of the project.”

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