News

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Worcestershire women to benefit from specialist endometriosis service

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust has been recognised for its endometriosis service with national accreditation from the British Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy (BSGE).

Members of the multi-disciplinary endometriosis team: Jon Hughes, Angus Thomson, Miguel Zilvetti, Helen Greenham and Liz Newton

The newly accredited team of consultants, support staff and a specialist nurse had to fulfil criteria set by the BSGE as part of a national scheme. The BSGE has created a national network of connected specialist centres - this allows information to be shared, ensuring women receive a consistent and high standard of treatment from specialist units around the country.

The Worcestershire team has already treated 48 women with advanced endometriosis during 2015, as well as many women with mild endometriosis. This work was part of their assessment by the BSGE. The team performed extremely well in every area evaluated and was particularly effective when it came to keeping in touch with patients - being rated highly out of all the services accredited in 2015, with a response rate of 92 per cent. Of the 51 accredited centres in the UK, Worcestershire was the fifth busiest in 2015.

Endometriosis is a condition where cells like those in the lining of the womb are found in other parts of the pelvis, and sometimes other parts of the body. The condition affects up to 10 per cent of women. It can cause extreme pain which can lead to depression and anxiety or be linked with fertility problems and other symptoms. Diagnosis can be difficult and as a result is often delayed. Endometriosis can be treated with complex keyhole surgery, but there is no absolute cure and symptoms may return after treatment.

Endometriosis can devastate the personal lives of women and their families, so as well as providing surgical treatment, the team will be helping patients to set up a support group later in 2016.

Consultant gynaecologist Angus Thomson said “Surgery for endometriosis is complex. The procedure can take over six hours and may involve specialists in gynaecology, bowel surgery and urology. This accreditation demonstrates that we are achieving high standards for women in Worcestershire and I’m delighted that the work we do here will contribute to a wider research programme that will benefit women nationally.”

Liz Newton, clinical nurse specialist said “Keyhole surgery for endometriosis is effective, but symptoms can return. Sometimes that’s years later, so keeping in touch with women is important. I say to our new patients that we’re going to be friends for a while! This year we’ll be setting up a new support group for women, providing emotional support that will make a real difference to women living with this painful condition.”

Visit www.endometriosis-uk.org for more information about the condition, and visit your GP if you have any concerns.

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