Urology patients will benefit from a faster diagnosis following the launch of a new unit at Colchester Hospital.
Patients are referred to the urology team from their GP for a variety of reasons, such as recurrent bladder infections, blood in their wee or if they’re experiencing issues with kidney stones. They’re then seen through a variety of clinics in different areas at Colchester Hospital.
A new urology diagnostic unit has been developed to bring all the clinics together, with a new nursing team helping to fast-track patients’ diagnosis.
Rachel Pyman, interim general manager for Urology and Vascular, said the new unit will operate five days a week and bring a quicker diagnosis for patients with suspected bladder cancer tumours or other urological issues that may need further treatment.
She said: “The unit will really streamline the process for patients and diagnose tumours quicker, so it will be a much better patient experience.”
Patients referred to the urology department will have investigative procedures such as a flexible cystoscopy to investigate what’s happening in their bladder, prostate biopsy and other urological procedures such as flow rates, urodynamics, trials without catheters and Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) treatment. The unit also provides lithotripsy treatment for kidney stones, and will soon see this increase from one day to two days per week.
The ESNEFT urology department has recently purchased a static lithotripter with the aim to provide a five-day service in the future.
Rachel added: “Having this unit and additional staff means we have a much larger capacity to see more patients.
“We already have one nurse carrying out cystoscopies, which are normally performed by registrars, with a medium term plan to see this increase to three nurses and a longer-term plan of a nurse-led cystoscopy and prostate biopsy service.”
Sam Datta, Clinical Director for Urology and Vascular, said: “This unit will allow timely investigation and diagnostics for patients both on cancer and non-cancer pathways matching our Trust philosophy of ‘time matters’.
“Our team is committed to the New Urology Diagnostic Unit, which over the next few months will provide a high quality, patient-focused bespoke investigation and treatments for urological patients.”
The new unit covers patients in the north Essex area, with patients in Suffolk able to access services at the Urology Investigation Suite at Ipswich Hospital.