Work has started on a £2.6 million plan to improve Kettering General Hospital’s endoscopy services.
On January 9 contractors set up a works unit on the slip road/car parking bays that runs alongside the Sterile Services Unit on the Rothwell Road side of the site.
They will build a new Decontamination Unit that will join up with the existing Sterile Services Unit taking up an area which is currently grass and paving.
The new decontamination unit will form part of a much bigger refurbishment of the whole endoscopy department and an expansion of the procedures rooms in the unit from four to five.
Having the fifth endoscopy room – and the new decontamination unit – will be a major boost for the Trust allowing it to take on significantly more bowel screening work.
Endoscopy Service Manager Tina Brooks said: “This major improvement to the Trust’s endoscopy facilities will provide us with significant extra capacity to carry out more work.
“This will be great news for local people because we will be able to offer bowel scope screening to many more people.
“Screening provides a very valuable diagnostic test that can enable us to detect pre-cancerous polyps and growths to prevent cancer or ensure patients get early treatment.
“It will also mean our existing facilities are modernised and significantly refurbished providing an improved environment for both patients and staff.”
KGH will expand its procedures lists from seven to ten per week for bowel scope screening (flexible sigmoidoscopy).
NHS bowel scope screening helps to prevent bowel cancer. For every 300 people screened, it stops two from getting bowel cancer and saves one life from bowel cancer.
New decontamination unit
The new decontamination unit will have two floors and £300,000 worth of new decontamination equipment.
It will mean the Trust’s endoscopy decontamination facilities are state-of-the-art and up to top safety specifications.
Sterile Services Manager Adam Parkes said: “The new extension will be an important improvement for the Trust’s decontamination facilities. It will mean we can carry out endoscopy decontamination and our surgical instruments decontamination side by side in a state of the unit with the highest of safety standards.”
The programme of work will last for 30 weeks and be done in stages. The department will endeavour to keep disruption to a minimum but asks all colleagues to be understanding of the situation.
Six staff car parking spaces above the Rothwell Road entrance to the old part of the hospital will be temporarily lost to enable the builders to set up a compound to carry out the work. Similarly a small number of patient spaces near the Rothwell Road entrance will be temporarily lost to enable the work. Afterwards parking should be back to normal.
What does bowel scope screening involve?
* Bowel scope screening uses a thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera on the end to look at the large bowel. * It can find and remove small growths called polyps from the bowel. Polyps don’t usually cause symptoms, but some might turn into cancer if they’re not removed.
* The technical term for bowel scope screening is flexible sigmoidoscopy screening (sometimes called “flexi-sig”).
* Bowel scope screening is done by a specially trained nurse or doctor at an NHS bowel cancer screening centre. They look at the lower part of your large bowel, because that’s where most polyps are found.
* If they find any polyps, they usually remove them straight away. This is usually done using a tiny wire loop passed through the tube.