A surgical service will launch at West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven on Tuesday 18 April, meaning patients will no longer have to travel out of the county for oesophageal investigations.
Oesophageal disorders are amongst the most common medical conditions, with symptoms of acid reflux affecting up to a third of the UK population. Two established clinical investigations for this condition are manometry and pH monitoring which can also be used for respiratory conditions such as asthma.
The Oesophageal Physiology service was previously offered at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust a number of years ago but the breakdown of equipment meant patients had to travel to hospitals in the North East of the country for these tests to be performed. The tests can often involve two trips to the laboratory on two successive days so the Trust has made every effort to return the service locally.
The service will now be provided at both West Cumberland Hospital and the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle, with West Cumberland Hospital being the ‘hub’ for the service, provided in the state-of-the-art surroundings of the new hospital.
Mr Daya Karat, clinical director for emergency surgery at the Trust, previously worked for Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust where he ran the Oesophageal service for over 10 years, meaning he has been able to provide training for staff in North Cumbria. He said: “Delivering an efficient, expert and locally accessible service for our local communities will greatly improve the quality of care we are providing for patients requiring oesophageal investigations.
“I believe we will see the number of referrals to the service increase and I am pleased that we are able to provide it at both of our hospitals sites, with the main centre being at West Cumberland Hospital as part of our overall clinical strategy to provide more surgery in Whitehaven.”