Like many parts of our NHS, responding to the pandemic has meant that some services have been harder to deliver; people are waiting longer for care and treatment, including longer waits for diagnosis.
Diagnostic services are a key part of the patient pathway and often the first stage of treatment to ensuring people have access to the right care in the right place, therefore timely and safe diagnosis is a vital step to delivering high-quality patient-centred care.
As part of our recovery we want to deliver a "Once for Scotland" approach to Endoscopy and Urology diagnostics. To do this it is essential we introduce and build on new and innovative ways of working that provides a sustainable service for the future.
On that basis, the Plan has been developed in collaboration with the National Centre for Sustainable Delivery (CfSD), patients and key stakeholders, including NHS Academy, the Scottish Society of Gastroenterology, the Scottish Urological Society and many third sector organisations, and focuses on 20 key targeted actions to deliver our ambition for Endoscopy and Urology Diagnostic services.
Substantial progress has been made already towards increasing capacity. For example, we have introduced a National Endoscopy Training Programme to provide training for all staff involved in the delivery of endoscopy in Scotland. A National Endoscopy Training Centre will be established and will be supported by Regional Training Centres to enable the delivery of a quality training programme with equity of access across Scotland.
We have also launched, an Academic Training Programme for Urology Advanced Nurse Practitioners with cystoscopyTM skills that will increase the skilled workforce and diagnostic capacity. We have developed a Scottish Education Programme for Endoscopy Assistant Practitioners, accelerating the development of enhanced practitioners (ADEPt) approach.
New innovative, and less intrusive procedures will help deliver high quality care for people. CytospongeTM, which is a new procedure that provides a less invasive alternative to upper GI endoscopy for the diagnosis of oesophageal cancer, is a great example of this that has now been implemented in a number of health boards across Scotland and will be extended to ensure equitable access across all areas.
The redesign and implementation of Urology Diagnostic Hubs and 'One Stop' clinics allows the delivery of clinical review and cystoscopy in an outpatient setting. There are already Hubs in five health boards and further diagnostic hubs will be developed across Scotland.
To support this recovery and innovation, the Endoscopy and Urology Diagnostic Recovery and Renewal Plan is backed by total investment of £70 million over the life of the plan. As a result, we expect to increase endoscopy capacity by 20,000 by March 2023 and by 25,000 each year from 2023/24 onwards.
Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care
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