Emergency endoscopy procedures have continued throughout the Covid-19 pandemic at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend. However, outpatients requiring an endoscopy have also been able to access the service since the end of April 2020.
An endoscopy is a procedure where organs inside your body are looked at using an instrument called an endoscope. An endoscope is a long, thin, flexible tube that has a light and camera at one end. Endoscopy is essential for investigating and treating many conditions.
Sister Lesley Bowen-James, said: “From the end of April to July 31st, 467 patients have had endoscopic procedures to allow diagnosis and treatment of various conditions.
“We are aware that coming into hospital can be an anxious time for patients and their relatives, and all staff in the department are patient focussed and strive to ensure the patient has a safe and positive experience during these difficult times.”
An initial contact is made with the patient to agree an appointment date, and at the same time a telephone assessment is completed, which includes a pre-procedure Covid-19 screening questionnaire. Patients are made aware of the extra precautions and support available to ensure they have a safe and positive experience.
Patients are also contacted the day prior to their procedure to provide an opportunity to ask any questions they may have and to complete a further Covid-19 screening questionnaire to confirm they have no symptoms.
On arrival at the hospital, all patients are met at the main entrance where they are provided with a face mask and taken to the unit where nursing staff introduce themselves. Hand sanitiser is provided and the patient’s temperature is taken, along with a further check of the Covid-19 screening questionnaire.
Staff in the unit adhere to social distancing requirements and wear the appropriate PPE at all times. As patients are unable to see faces of the staff during their procedure, photographs are pinned to their protective gowns.
There is also a picture board of staff displayed in the reception area to allow patients to see who will be looking after them during their journey through the endoscopy department.
Following their procedure, patients are contacted up to 14 days afterwards to find out about their wellbeing, so that staff can provide further advice and support, if needed.