Another Piece
Of the Jigsaw

Colonoscopy Access

Colonoscopy Access

Colonoscopy Access to Ballarat Health Services (BHS) was identified as a focus area in the implementation of Optimal Care Pathways (OCPs) in 2017.

A colonoscopy access working party was subsequently convened to guide service improvements.  A number of strategies have been identified by the colonoscopy waiting lists, including:
Referral to regional facilities (Ararat, Maryborough) to help with the waiting list (now in place)
Establishment of a Gastroenterology Service at BHS (longer term) 
Use of Nurse endoscopists (medium term)
Use of CT colonography as an alternative to colonoscopy (short term)

Approaches have been made to the Royal Melbourne Hospital Department of Gastroenterology, notifying them of positions available in Ballarat for new consultants, and of regional changes in the practice environment that will make Grampians an attractive practice site.

The Colonoscopy Working Party has been very active: In the CT colonography space; clerical and outpatient nursing staff have worked together, to streamline processes and ensure referral and result reporting paths operate as seamlessly as possible.

Letters have also been sent to GP's outlining the rationale for CT colonography on patients they may refer for colonoscopy.

To minimise delays, patients with a positive CT result will be given 2 follow up appointments - one for clinic review for explanation and the second for a colonoscopy.

As a means of progressing the issues of colonoscopy access for patients referred to BHS, a funding submission is being prepared to support a redesign project, aimed at identifying other solutions to reduce the extensive colonoscopy waiting list.  The funding submission is being led by BHS.    

For further information contact:

Mr David Deutscher
GICS Clinical Director