Bowel cancer screening and other endoscopy services at Worthing Hospital are to benefit from an £7 million investment in new facilities.
The Endoscopy Department will more than double in size after the board of Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust approved a major redesign on July 31st.
The hospital’s West Wing ground floor will undergo a £5 million redevelopment to provide patients with new single-sex recovery areas, more treatment rooms, and new and improved reception and waiting areas.
Five new endoscopy rooms will replace the current three, and, to improve access for patients, additional sessions will be provided in the evening or at the weekend.
Demand for endoscopy services is increasing, driven by the needs of an ageing population, as well as the requirements of the National Bowel Screening Programme for the over-50s.
Over the next five years it is forecast demand for endoscopy procedures across the Trust will rise to more than 28,000, up from the 17,820 procedures carried out in 2013/14.
The Board has agreed a full Endoscopy Unit to provide a range of inpatient and outpatient endoscopic diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.
More than £1.3M will be invested in new medical equipment for the Worthing Unit, with a further £512,000 earmarked for associated equipment.
This includes two new decontamination washers to expand the £1.7M state-of-the-art decontamination facilities opened in 2010 at Worthing Hospital.
Medical Director Dr George Findlay said: “Our major redesign and enlargement of the Endoscopy Department at Worthing Hospital is great news for patients, who will benefit from new single sex recovery bays, as well as better reception and waiting areas.
“The capacity of the department will double, which means we will be able to offer more procedures to more patients, at a time when demand is set to increase dramatically.
“We will also offer patients procedures outside of normal working hours, providing care in the evening or at the weekend at a time that suits some patients better.”
The approved new Endoscopy Department will be more than double the size of the current unit, with state-of-the-art facilities, built in proximity to the multi-million pound decontamination area.
In order to facilitate the department’s expansion The League of Friends Café and Shop located off the West Wing’s Hospital Street is being relocated.
A new Friends’ shop opens in the Main Entrance from August 6th, while work to establish a new café area within the hospital is continuing.
The new Endoscopy Department is scheduled to be completed by Autumn 2015.