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  • Increasing backlog of at-risk patients including suspected cancers
  • Reduced clinical staffing due to new medical rotas and staff self-isolating
  • Lack of clean site capacity

Medway NHS Foundation is a single-site hospital based in Gillingham, Medway Maritime Hospital, which serves a population of more than 424,000 across Medway and Swale. Demand for endoscopy services was challenged prior to COVID-19, with 814 patients waiting to be treated and during the COVID-19 outbreak the waiting was growing by 60+ patients per week. Medway NHSFT and 18 Week Support had an established
working relationship prior to COVID-19.

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Medway created a new and innovative partnership with 18 Week Support to provide the clinical staffing and Care UK to provide ‘clean’ endoscopy facilities in a separate location, allowing all to work closely together to address the rising backlog and minimise risk of cross infection by COVID-19. The partnership enabled each team to provide the different elements needed to build a successful system.


We helped the Trust deliver an efficient 7-day service and significantly reduce waiting lists cost effectively. Over one weekend, we saw 275 outpatient patients and carried out 50–60 day cases.

This produced some significant time-saving initiatives for outpatients, as well as a number of positive outcomes in both perioperative and post-operative stages of care.

Key Facts

  • 38 Endoscopy Sessions
  • 159 Patients Treated
  • 9 JAG Points Per Session(April 15th – May 7th 2020)

Key Lessons

  • Senior Leadership was key to communication.
  • 18WS site team morning huddle to reinforce the patient pathway.
  • 18WS Nurse in Charge conducts audits on PPE and IPC at all stages of the pathway.
  • Patient is given clear information on their pathway within the context of COVID 19 at the pre procedure stage.