GI endoscopic procedures, traditionally carried out by doctors, are being performed increasingly by nurses and other non-medical registered practitioners – known as clinical endoscopists (CEs) or previously known as non-medical endoscopists (NMEs). To address the increasing demand for endoscopy services, HEE works with senior medical and clinical endoscopists, the Joint Advisory Group in GI Endoscopy (JAG), Liverpool John Moores University and Birmingham City University to deliver this comprehensive programme.
This 30-week programme is designed to train appropriate registered healthcare professionals (NMC Adult Nurses and Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registered) to perform safe diagnostic procedures in either Upper GI Endoscopy or Lower GI endoscopy.
This 40-week programme is designed to upskill suitable clinical endoscopists in colonoscopy. With demand in endoscopy continuing to increase, this programme will help trusts to meet endoscopy challenges, support workforce flexibility and increase trust diagnostic capacity.
Working with major national endoscopy stakeholders* we have developed the Competence Assessment Portfolio . This provides a framework for clinical endoscopists - ensuring a consistent basis for education and training, optimising patient safety and supporting high quality standards of care. Trainee clinical endoscopists, their clinical supervisors, mentors and managers can use the portfolio to demonstrate achievement of the skills and knowledge required to deliver safe and effective quality care through core and specific competencies, and to identify and manage risks.
* Stakeholders include the Joint Advisory Group on GI Endoscopy (JAG), the British Society of Gastroenterology, NHS Improving Quality, Royal College of Nursing, Council of Deans, and higher education institutions.
"They fit in with departmental needs" – Ed Seward is a consultant gastroenterologist, responsible for training nurse endoscopists that come through the department at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
“There is no cost to the Trust…its really beneficial” - Sue Priestley is the Clinical Director for Gastroenterology at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and also a JAG lead.
Two pilot trainee cohorts completed the training in 2016. Following a positive initial evaluation report by the Office for Public Management (OPM), the programme is being rolled out more widely. Successful trainees from the programme have advanced their careers while helping to meet endoscopy service demands in their trust and freeing up medical colleagues to concentrate on more complicated cases.
To date, some 370 trainees are now either in training or have completed training.
It is such a brilliant programme! It is intense, but provides robust quality training”
Jun Wang, Nurse Endoscopist/ Endoscopy Specialist practitioner – University Hospital Southampton NHS Trust.
Feedback shows trainees are helping to meet clinical demand, reduce waiting lists and contributing to a better patient experience. The full follow-up evaluation will be published in the spring and will be available on this page.
I think actually what it’s done has put better practices in place, before it was very ad hoc, the trust has focused on training massively and the planning worked has benefited us and the registrars.”
Developing your career
Trainees who have completed the programme have found it a rewarding way to develop their skills and advance their career in a practical patient focused role. They are taking on new roles such as clinical research, leading clinics and designing pre-assessment services alongside using their new scoping skills to have a positive direct impact on quality of care for patients.
I thoroughly enjoyed the course and I am now running my own list in the endoscopy unit alongside my role as an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) nurse. It has expanded my knowledge, skill base and my role as a IBD nurse”
Alexandra Westhoff, IBD Nurse Specialist/ Non-medical Endoscopist – St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospital NHS Trust.