New unit to help cut waiting lists at Blackpool Vic

Health chiefs are hoping to open temporary facilities at the site of a sports centre in a bid to reduce long waiting lists.

By Shelagh Parkinson
Thursday, 4th August 2022, 3:00 pm

Blackpool Victoria Hospital wants to set up a stand alone endoscopy unit alongside Blackpool Sports Centre at Stanley Park where patients would go for internal examinations.

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This would then enable faster diagnosis with people getting their test results back more quickly, enabling them to be put on the right treatment paths.

The proposed site of the endoscopy unit

As of May this year, 26,974 people were waiting to be treated at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Trust

A planning application has been submitted by Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust to the council seeking permission to construct a single storey building and put a storage container on the site for 18 months.

It is part of a national drive by the NHS to prioritise patients in urgent need of an endoscopy due to a backlog caused by the pandemic and an increase in referrals.

Among the illnesses an endoscopy can either diagnose or rule out is bowel cancer where early diagnosis is crucial to successful treatment.

Blackpool Sports Centre.

Last year it was reported only one-in-seven people urgently referred to Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Trust with suspected bowel cancer received a diagnosis or an all-clear within four weeks.

The latest report to the hospital board shows the number of patients waiting more than six weeks for tests meant the hospital was only reaching 77 per cent of its 95 per cent target.

The report adds: "Endoscopy is the main contributor to the in-month deterioration", and says a new weekly endoscopy improvement group has been launched to monitor and improve endoscopy utilisation, while a business case has been approved for the modular unit to increase capacity from October onwards.

Documents submitted with the planning application say the scheme includes the "installation of a temporary single-storey modular endoscopy suite building with associated storage unit, supplied by Remedy Healthcare Solutions for a period of 12-18 months dependent upon reducing waiting lists."

The sports centre is considered the preferred location because it is "easilyaccessible for all patients, and remains close to the hospital site for any emergency procedures."

The application will now be considered by town hall planners.