Vanguard and Imotech join forces to bring transnasal endoscopy to UK centres


Link-up provides access to Fujifilm intranasal endoscopy systems for NHS trusts

As part of a strategy to enhance its UK endoscopy offering, Vanguard Healthcare has joined forces with Imotech Medical, a subsidiary of United Drug, to develop transnasal provision within its fleet.

News of the collaboration follows close on the heels of the ground-breaking joint venture between Vanguard and Prime Diagnostics Ltd (PDL) to provide endoscopy services in Gloucestershire in support of the NHS Gloucestershire primary care trust.

Over the past four years there has been a 50% increase in demand for gastro-intestinal (GI) endoscopies and this will be boosted by a further 75% increase over the next four years, according to The Joint Advisory Group on GI Endoscopy. Annually 500,000 procedures are carried out in the UK, with the extra demand arising from additional screening and symptomatic work.

Mary Smallbone, Vanguard's operations and marketing director, said: " The relationship with Imotech has developed over four years, culminating in us providing a joint supply chain to PDL, enabling quicker diagnosis and treatment of Gloucestershire patients closer to their homes."

Endoscopy is one of the most-common procedures carried out in hospitals, yet tough waiting list targets and a high level of demand mean NHS trusts are under severe pressure to make improvements.

John Bentley, general manager of Imotech Medical, said: "We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with Vanguard Healthcare and have together developed a partnership approach to providing endoscopy solutions."

As Imotech is the UK’s sole distributor of Fujifilm technology, the link-up will give Vanguard access to its newly-designed HD transnasal endoscope.

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"Between 5-10% of patients cannot tolerate the traditional procedure delivered through the oral route, whilst 20% of patients have conscious sedation,” said Bentley. “The efficiencies of intranasal endoscopy mean that patient throughput increases and importantly the patient experience is enhanced with gagging and discomfort eliminated."