Liverpool John Moores University is set to train more people in diagnosing cancer thanks to a partnership with global optics firm Olympus.
Bowel cancer rates in the North West were among the highest in the country last year while waiting lists have been lengthening due to the coronavirus pandemic.
LJMU’s School of Nursing and Allied Health has worked with the Mersey School of Endoscopy to become one of the leading centres in training NHS professionals in endoscopy – a procedure to look inside the body by inserting a camera via a tube called an endoscope, widely used to diagnose and treat bowel cancer, stomach ulcers and other conditions.
Now, working with leading medical supplier Olympus, the university aims to broaden the range of clinical staff qualified to use the equipment, and step up the rate of diagnosis.
The School has just installed two state-of-the-art endoscopy stacks provided by the firm as part of an established partnership, which also sees Olympus train technicians and share educational materials for students.
"The support from Olympus will help us to address cancer diagnostic requirements across the country" - Sue Baker, Senior Lecturer in Nursing
Sue Baker, a senior lecturer in the Advanced Practice Team at LJMU, said: “We are thrilled with the support from Olympus which will help us to address cancer diagnostic requirements across the country and have a significant influence on workforce capacity and skills in endoscopy.
“This is an outstanding partnership for the university and together we can offer health professionals the latest equipment to train on in our superb simulation training suites in central Liverpool.”
Kelly Stacey, Head of Professional Education at Olympus, said: “Olympus is proud to partner with LJMU to support this leading institution in the provision of all aspects of endoscopy education. By working with LJMU, Olympus can support educational opportunities to the workforce of the future which can help address capacity challenges facing the NHS.”
Nurses and health professionals
The LJMU training is predominantly postgraduate, or continuing professional development (CPD), aimed at nurses and allied health professionals.
The university works closely with the Mersey School of Endoscopy (MSE), based at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, to provide professionally regulated training – which was previously entirely hospital-based but it now more suited elsewhere.
“We deliver all the taught sessions and simulated practice here at LJMU which relieves pressure on the hospital and means we can teach larger groups,” added Sue.
MSE director Dr Paul Collins, commented: “Our collaboration with LJMU in endoscopy training has now been formalised in a Memorandum of Understanding. The university’s support through the provision of a state-of-the-art endoscopy training facility, simulation facilities and expertise from academic and technical staff has been key to the success of a number of joint ventures.”