01/06/2021 | Press releases

Helping clinicians perfect their skills – without touching a patient

Trainee doctors at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) are now able to perfect their endoscopy skills without touching a patient following the introduction of a new state-of-the-art virtual reality simulator.

The equipment, called an EndoSim, allows students to practice almost any procedure in a classroom environment, including endoscopy of the lower and upper gastrointestinal tract and bile duct, as well as bronchoscopies, which look into the lungs.

It gives them the opportunity to learn how to use a scope to master a variety of different skills safely and effectively, and will accurately measure their progress until they achieve the necessary competencies to move into a theatre.

ESNEFT is one of just a handful of trusts across the country to invest in the equipment, which was funded by Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity. It has been installed in the ICENI Centre, ESNEFT’s world-renowned medical education centre at Colchester Hospital.

Consultant Greg Wynn, lead clinical director of the ICENI Centre and a general and colorectal surgeon, said: “We are delighted that ESNEFT is remaining at the forefront of innovation by becoming one of the few trusts in the country to have invested in this cutting-edge technology.

“The EndoSim allows us to take a complete novice and give them they skills they need to start working safely on patients. Before we had this specialist equipment, the first time a trainee touched a scope would be when they were putting it into a patient.

“The technology uses metrics which will allow us to measure the student’s progress objectively while also helping them to map their own development until they are at the skill level required.

“As far as I am aware, this is the first piece of kit which can take someone from having zero experience to being sufficiently competent to safely scope a patient without going anywhere near a clinical environment. It is incredibly exciting and will make a real difference to the training our clinicians receive.”

Mandy Jordan, Associate Director of Charity and Voluntary Services with the Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity, said: “We are delighted that the charity has been able to fund this fantastic piece of kit. It will make a real difference to the training that our next generation of endoscopists receive.”

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