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Hospital launches academy to improve digestive nursing knowledge

London hospital has opened up a new academy that will improve the quality of knowledge held by nurses regarding digestive health and treatment.

The academy, which is at St Thomas’ Hospital, will support the 230 nurses who work in digestive healthcare at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. Known as the GI Academy, it will enable nurses to expand their knowledge and improve their skills in regard to gastroenterology, with a particular focus on endoscopy. The academy is open to nursing staff of all levels.

It has been founded in partnership with King’s College London, Boston Scientific Olympus, Hollister, Dr Falk Pharma UK, Johnson & Johnson and MacGregor Healthcare. Each partner will provide mentoring and support, as well as workshops for nursing staff.

Working with the academy, nurses can obtain four awards. Some of these will count towards an undergraduate and/or postgraduate degree in Clinical Nursing Practice or Advanced Clinical Nursing Practice.

GI Academy Lead and Consultant Nurse Fiona Hibberts commented: “The NHS needs more GI nurses as patient demand increases, and we currently see approximately 33,000 patient episodes per year.”

Hibberts said that due to this, surgery and the requirements of patients become increasingly complicated. She added that they would like to develop nurses at every stage of their career, pursue excellence in caring for their patients, and support their team. This will help them to “reach and keep” staff, and will mean that their patients benefit from care that is better and more informed.