A TEAM at East Lothian Community Hospital is celebrating achieving a gold standard.

The Haddington hospital is home to the first NHS Scotland outpatient endoscopy unit within a territorial health board area to be recognised in quality endoscopy care by the Joint Advisory Group on Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (JAG).

The process of achieving JAG accreditation involves a period of self-assessment and quality improvement against specific standards, followed by a site visit when assessors confirm that standards are being met.

Specifically, this covers continually improving the quality and safety of the care provided, maintaining a strong focus on ensuring patients have a positive experience, upholding a safe and comfortable environment for patients and staff, and providing excellent training and development opportunities for all team members.

Internationally recognised, JAG accreditation is awarded to the highest calibre of patient-centred establishments.

East Lothian Courier: East Lothian Community HospitalEast Lothian Community Hospital (Image: Newsquest)

Michael Matheson MSP, cabinet secretary for NHS recovery health and social care, offered his congratulations to the team.

He said: “This is a wonderful achievement for the East Lothian endoscopy care team, and I hope other community hospitals will follow their example.”

Fiona Wilson, chief officer for East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership, which manages East Lothian Community Hospital, was equally thrilled with the recognition.

She said: “Gaining JAG accreditation is an enormous achievement and a wonderful accolade to possess.

“The endoscopy team in East Lothian are absolutely fantastic and have worked incredibly hard to achieve this accreditation.

“Led onsite by charge nurse Lynsey Ward and NHS Lothian endoscopy clinical lead Dr Nick Church, the team have come together to deliver exceptional standards in patient care day in, day out.

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“Everyone is warmly welcomed, reassured and treated with the utmost dignity and respect, which is clearly evidenced by the patients’ comments and feedback which couldn’t be more glowing and complimentary.”

Dr Church, consultant gastroenterologist and lead for endoscopy, NHS Lothian, added: “I am delighted that East Lothian Community Hospital team has achieved JAG accreditation for our endoscopy unit.

“This accreditation demonstrates that we are providing a high-quality, safe and appropriate endoscopy service, delivered by a highly trained and motivated workforce.

“Many individuals have worked tirelessly to ensure that we are supporting clinicians, patients, and families in a meaningful way and this recognition is testament to this. I’m immensely proud of our endoscopy teams.”