The ‘proof of concept’ clinical endoscopist training cohort made possible by Moondance was essential: it provided a firm basis for future clinical endoscopist training in Wales
Neil Hawkes ― Consultant Gastroenterologist, Cwm Taf Morgannwg Health Board
A recent survey of endoscopy units across the UK indicated that the number of clinical endoscopists in Wales is significantly lower than in England. More workforce capacity, as well as innovation, is critical to avoiding delays.
Prior to this project, no structured training pathway existed for clinical endoscopists in the UK (or anywhere else in the world) to train a novice up to the point of JAG Certification in colonoscopy. Through this project, a clinical endoscopist training pathway now exists to bring well taught, competent colonoscopists into the workforce, to help meet the increased need for high quality colonoscopy.
This project delivered the first structured training programme for clinical endoscopists, with a cohort of four trainees. In addition to hands-on skills development, emphasis was placed on providing trainees with the academic training and cognitive skills to support independent practice. Once the four newly trained colonoscopists achieve JAG Certification and start performing independent colonoscopy lists then they will contribute to service delivery. In the first year, assuming that each colonoscopist delivers two lists per week for 40 weeks of the year, these four alone will scope 1,280 patients - representing significant additional capacity.
Discussions with Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) led to the agreement that from March 2020 a cohort of HEIW sponsored clinical endoscopists would commence a 2-year training programme modelled exactly on the Moondance Programme, and expanding the scope of the programme to include upper GI endoscopy alongside training in colonoscopy. That cohort is now 12 months into their training and HEIW have recently recruited their second cohort.