Introduction New roles are being introduced within the NHS to utilise knowledge and skills to offer value for money services. Assistant Practitioners were introduced into the endoscopy unit and an innovative service was set up to improve the patient management for pre surveillance colonoscopy screening.
Methods A telephone assessment was implemented by an Assistant Practitioner (band 4) to ascertain whether this could be offered as an alternative to the current pre endoscopy clinic led by a band 5 to ensure the patient was safe to proceed with bowel preparation and investigation.
Results 68 patients were booked onto the Assistant Practitioner (AP) telephone clinic over a 10-week period. Out of these 20 DNA'd the appointment and 48 were assessed via the telephone consultation. Out of the 48 patients assessed the AP was able to decide if the patient was fit to proceed without seeking further advice. Forty-one patients were deemed suitable to advance to colonoscopy and agreed a date to attend. Seven patients chose to be discharged.
Conclusion Hospital attendance is not always required to adequately assess the suitability for bowel preparation and colonoscopy. For a cohort of patients this can be done by a telephone consultation. This has advantages both for the user, in that they are not required to attend with all the difficulties associated with hospital visits, and the provider for adequate use of resource and capacity available. It is acknowledged that there may be a proportion of patients identified that require a face to face assessment at a higher level and those can be given a date to attend a nurse led clinic at the time of telephone consultation. This method is more cost effective due to the higher numbers of consultations on a telephone assessment clinic compared to face to face clinic and the associated salaries of the band of the practitioner undertaking the session.
Competing interests None declared.
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