A consultant surgeon at Colchester Hospital is set to travel to Israel to learn from a world-renowned pioneer of endoscopic surgery after becoming one of just a handful of clinicians from across Europe to be awarded a prestigious fellowship.
Nienke Warnaar has been awarded the European Association for Endoscopic Surgery (EAES) fellowship, which will part-fund an eight-week trip to Tel Aviv to shadow Prof Amir Szold, who is known internationally as a visionary surgeon and entrepreneur. She is one of just nine people to receive the fellowship this year, and faced competition from all over Europe for the award.
During her visit, Miss Warnaar will learn from best practice in place in Israel and find out more about the changes Prof Szold has introduced to improve care for his patients. She hopes that the trip will inspire her with new ideas about ways in which care could be made more cost-effective in the UK without compromising on its quality.
“I was delighted to be awarded the fellowship and am really looking forward to travelling to Tel Aviv to work with Prof Szold, who is such an enormous innovator,” said Miss Warnaar, who joined the Colchester team in 2015 and has a special interest in laparoscopy and inflammatory bowel disease. “He works in one of the best hospitals in Tel Aviv and provides very high spec, cost-effective and fully-modernised care.
“Prof Szold is included in the annually published list of Israel’s top physicians and holds senior positions in medical organisations and professional associations in Israel and abroad. He is part of an international network of opinion leaders in surgery, interventional medicine and medical device companies.
“My aim will be to gain inspiration from his work and find new ways to further enhance the service we provide in Colchester by streamlining care and improving efficiency, in turn enabling us to continue meeting increasing demand during the financial challenges which lie ahead.
“I have already introduced some changes since joining the Colchester team which have reduced the number of times some patients need to come into the hospital, in turn helping to make the service more convenient for them while also saving clinicians’ time. I hope to come back from Tel Aviv with lots more ideas about further steps we could take to make things even better for our patients.
“I am really excited about the trip. It’s always nice to look abroad and see how other people are doing things. When I get back I look forward to sharing all of these ideas with my colleagues and as many clinicians in the UK as possible so that we can introduce some innovative new ways of working to further benefit our patients.”
Miss Warnaar will plan her visit at a time which best suits her team and patients at Colchester, and hopes to travel early next year. Although the fellowship will cover most of the costs, she will fund the remainder of the trip herself.
She added: “I am very grateful to my department for supporting this project and giving me time off to allow me to travel to Israel.”
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