Cash boost for health services

ALMOST £100,000 has been awarded to the NHS in Colchester and Tendring to bring services closer to home and to cut waiting times.Colchester Primary Care Trust, working with Tendring PCT, Essex Rivers Healthcare NHS Trust and the Colchester Men's Health Action Group, put together a bid for £75,000 but today learned the NHS Modernisation Agency has awarded £94,000 - an extra £19,000.

ALMOST £100,000 has been awarded to the NHS in Colchester and Tendring to bring services closer to home and to cut waiting times.

Colchester Primary Care Trust, working with Tendring PCT, Essex Rivers Healthcare NHS Trust and the Colchester Men's Health Action Group, put together a bid for £75,000 but today learned the NHS Modernisation Agency has awarded £94,000 - an extra £19,000.

It will be used to set up urology services in Colchester town centre for the first time and to increase urological capacity at Clacton and Harwich hospitals.

The money from the Department of Health's Action On Urology programme, aims to establish and spread innovative good practice in the quality of care.


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Katherine Foreman, director of modernisation at Colchester PCT, who is leading the project, said the money would be spent on additional nursing and medical cover, office equipment, a project manager and administrative support.

Urology services would be set up at Colchester Cornerstone, a health and welfare drop-in centre on the corner of Head Street and Sir Isaac's Walk, which is due to be fully open by August.

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Mrs Foreman said: "A urology suite is being created at Colchester Cornerstone which nurse specialists will use to provide a range of urology services.

"This means some patients will no longer have the inconvenience of making their way to Colchester General Hospital on the edge-of-town but will be able to access services in a friendly town centre environment.

"The money will also allow specialist nurses to provide more services at the community hospitals in Clacton and Harwich - sometimes augmenting those provided by doctors - which will increase capacity and cut waiting-times."

She added because of the unexpected £19,000 windfall, decisions had not yet been taken about how all the money would be spent but some of it would be used to:

n provide nurse-led cystoscopies - using an endoscope to examine the bladder eg for patients with suspected bladder cancer - at Colchester Cornerstone and Clacton and Harwich hospitals. These are currently carried out by doctors who specialise in urology but two urology nurse specialists are currently being trained to do them

n follow-up clinics for patients whose bladder cancer is in remission

n follow-up clinics for men with a non-malignant (non-cancerous) enlargement of the prostate

n provide ultrasound at Colchester Cornerstone for diagnostic purposes

n assess and diagnose patients referred by GPs with urinary tract symptoms.

Some of the urology services at Colchester Cornerstone will be available in the evening and Saturday mornings to make them more accessible to patients who work.

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