A NEW and improved endoscopy unit is being officially opened at Dorset County Hospital this week.

The state-of-the-art unit is still in its original location in the Dorchester hospital’s north wing but has benefited from extensive building and refurbishment work to improve the facilities and services for patients.

The unit, which will be opened on Friday, now boasts three new treatment rooms as well as recovery rooms, a reception and waiting area and administration and decontamination areas.

Endoscopy senior charge nurse James Childs said: “As part of our ongoing drive to improve the patient experience, the endoscopy unit was redesigned and refurbished to ensure that the department is fit for the new challenges ahead.

“The new endoscopy suite is designed to meet standards for the environment, decontamination, clinical quality and quality of the patient experience set by the Joint Advisory Group (JAG) which certifies all endoscopy centres.

“The new unit offers greater privacy with same sex facilities in all areas where this is necessary.

“We are thrilled with the feedback from patients who have commented on how bright and welcoming the unit is.”

The new waiting area features a beautiful glass screen designed by local artist Sasha Ward and inspired by the chalk landscape of the south west.

Dr Peter Down, who established the first endoscopy department at the old Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester in 1989, will do the honours at the opening event and a plaque commemorating the opening of the unit has been donated by patient support group The Semi Colons.