THE endoscopy unit at Redditch's Alexandra Hospital has been awarded national accreditation for providing the highest quality of care to patients.

The recognition has come after a rigorous assessment by the Joint Advisory Group (JAG) of the Royal College of Physicians and British Society of Gastroenterology.

JAG sets out national standards for endoscopy units throughout the UK, to ensure the quality and safety of patient care.

An endoscopy is a procedure where the inside of the body is examined by using a long, thin, flexible tube that has a camera at one end for diagnosis or treatment.

The Endoscopy departments received the acknowledgement after meeting JAG’s strict criteria, including a significant reduction in waiting times and improvements to the environment of the units, including a new state-of-the-art decontamination unit at the Alex Hospital.

The accreditation also reassures patients that the skills and competencies of the nurses and other staff on the units are monitored and kept up-to-date.

Richard Lovegrove, consultant colorectal surgeon and clinical lead for endoscopy at the trust running the Alex, said: “Gastrointestinal endoscopy is an extremely important tool in diagnosing cancers and pre-cancerous conditions within the bowels.

"We have an extremely busy endoscopy department and our team have been working tirelessly towards meeting the standards the JAG set out.

“I am delighted that we have been recognised as achieving these and are offering the patients of Worcestershire the best possible care."