To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to the Answer of 27 February 2015 to Question 225126, what steps he is taking to ensure growth in investment to increase endoscopy unit capacity in line with the recommendations of Professor Sir Mike Richards, Gateway Reference 16973, of 8 December 2011; and what assessment he has made of progress with planning for 10 to 15 per cent year-on-year increase in lower gastro intestinal endoscopy actively in reducing waiting times and ensuring high quality care.
Health Education England has pledged to fund the training of 200 non-medical endoscopists, which will significantly increase endoscopy capacity in England. The first cohort will begin training in January 2016. NHS England’s Sustainable Improvement Team (formerly NHS Improving Quality) is working intensively with trusts that have significant endoscopy waiting lists, in order to improve performance. NHS England is also exploring ways to improve endoscopy performance through pricing changes.