West Suffolk patients undergoing bowel cancer tests are benefitting from faster and more comfortable investigations with better quality results thanks to a new piece of equipment.
The £42,000 ScopeGuide is being used by the endoscopy department when screening patients with suspected bowel cancer.
It has been funded by the Friends of West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.
It consists of a plate which sits in front of the patient’s abdomen, detects the colonoscope and produces a 3D image as it is moved along the colon.
This helps staff carrying out the procedure to manage the colonoscope more effectively and prevent it from looping round in the lower intestine, which can cause discomfort for patients.
As well as helping to speed up the procedure, the ScopeGuide is also playing an important role in training doctors and nurses.
In addition, its purchase will help ensure the hospital can meet demand after bowel cancer screening was rolled out to all patients aged 55 and above in 2013.
Simon Whalley, consultant gastroenterologist at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are incredibly grateful to the Friends of West Suffolk Hospital for so generously funding our new ScopeGuide.
“The equipment is already playing an important role in improving the quality of colonoscopy procedures we carry out and the experience which patients have during these investigations by minimising any discomfort they may feel.
“Colonoscopy is an important telescopic technique which helps us to identify and remove polyps which, if otherwise left untreated, could turn into bowel cancer.
The purchase of this new equipment has therefore not only improved the care our patients receive, but has also potentially helped save lives.”
The ScopeGuide is the latest in a line of generous donations made by the Friends, who regularly fund new pieces of equipment and support other projects to improve patient care.
Grant Greetham, chairman of the Friends, said: “We are delighted that the Friends are able to improve the patients’ experience and help combat cancer in any way that we can.”