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Redcar's first endoscopy services opens its doors

Published March 07, 2024 By

Patients can now have more diagnostic tests closer to home thanks to the launch of a new endoscopy service at Redcar Primary Care Hospital. 

Every year South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust carries out 14,000 endoscopy tests - examinations which look inside the body using a long, thin tube with a small camera inside called an endoscope.

The new dedicated clinic at Redcar Hospital will save some patients from having to travel to The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough or Friarage Hospital in Northallerton while also reducing post-
pandemic waiting lists and freeing up teams at James Cook to concentrate on more complex cases.

Patients have been using the service since November, but it was officially opened yesterday (Wednesday 6 March) by the trust’s new chief executive officer Stacey Hunter and Redcar patient Timandra Lowe.

Nicola Plews, Redcar endoscopy unit manager said: “We’ve already welcomed patients from all over the Redcar area and from as far away as Whitby and they think it’s great. It’s a fantastic facility for people to
come to with free parking and it’s staffed by experienced clinicians who rotate from our James Cook site.”

A range of specialist minimally invasive tests are now also provided exclusively from the Redcar site including:
• Lower GI capsule – patients swallow a pill-sized camera to check abnormalities
• Capsule sponge – patients swallow a small capsule which is attached to a string and dissolves to
reveal a tiny sponge that collects cells for examination

Vicki Fawcett, clinical endoscopist said “We are now performing 47 capsule endoscopies and 13 capsule sponge examinations a month at Redcar. A lot of the patients we see can be quite anxious, but these
community-based clinics are in a much calmer environment which really helps us put people at ease.”

Arvind Ramadas, clinical lead for endoscopy added: “It’s brilliant to be providing a range of endoscopy services from this community hospital site including our flagship minimally invasive procedures. The new
service provides more choice and a relaxing environment for patients, saves people from the Redcar area from having to travel and helps us reduce our waiting lists – it’s great news for everyone!”

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