New Gastrointestinal (GI) Academy launched at St Thomas' Hospital

Posted on Wednesday 18 January 2017
GI Academy Launch

Julie Duncan, Roni Cummings, Fiona Hibberts, Catherine Billbough

A new Gastrointestinal (GI) Academy has been launched at St Thomas’ Hospital to help nurses expand their knowledge of digestive health and treatment.

The GI Academy has been set up to support the 230 nurses working in digestive health at Guy’s and St Thomas’, which will improve the care of patients with gastrointestinal conditions.

The academy will help them to build on their skills in gastroenterology, which is the study of the digestive system, especially in endoscopy (a minimally-invasive procedure used to examine a person's digestive tract).

Nurses of all levels – from nursing assistants to heads of nursing – can join the academy.

Fiona Hibberts, consultant nurse, and lead for the GI Academy, said: “The NHS needs more GI nurses as patient demand increases, and we currently see approximately 33,000 patient episodes per year. As a result surgery, and the needs of patients becomes increasingly complex.

“Through the GI Academy, we want to develop nurses at all stages of their career, pursue excellence in caring for our patients, and support our team. This will not only help us ‘reach and keep' staff, but will mean that our patients benefit from better and more informed care.”

Dame Eileen Sills, chief nurse at Guy’s and St Thomas’, said: “We are delighted to see the launch of the GI Academy here at St Thomas’ Hospital, and are keen to build on this great work. By developing our staff in this way we can encourage lifelong learning, develop specialist nursing care for patients, and support professional development for nurses at all levels.”

The academy is focused on recognising and rewarding the commitment of nurses at the Trust, providing improved care for patients, and supporting professional development.  

Nurses will be able to gain four awards through the academy with some of these awards contributing to an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in Clinical Nursing Practice or Advanced Clinical Nursing Practice at Kings College London.

The GI Academy’s partners are King’s College London, Dr Falk Pharma UK, Hollister, Johnson & Johnson, Boston Scientific Olympus and MacGregor Heatlhcare  - all of whom will provide workshops, support and mentoring for nursing staff.

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