Mersey School of Endoscopy
The Royal Liverpool University Hospital had the first full-time Endoscopy Training Centre in the UK, established in 1995 by Professor Tony Morris. In 2001 it took the name Mersey School of Endoscopy (MSE) and was granted status as an official training centre by the Joint Advisory Group on Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (JAG). In 2003, following a successful bid led by Prof Morris, the MSE became one of only three National Endoscopy Training Centres in England, and it remains the only National Centre outside London.
The training centre, now led by Dr Paul O’Toole, runs a busy programme throughout the year, including the full range of Basic Skills JAG courses (those considered essential for endoscopists seeking accreditation) and a wide range of other specialist and advanced courses. All endoscopy courses are JAG-approved and training is open to anyone, regardless of discipline or background. The teaching faculty is provided by a core of skilled trainers based in Liverpool, supplemented by experts from other major centres, and visiting faculty from throughout the North West. The Centre is equipped with a comprehensive range of endoscopy training models and computer simulators.
A close link with the MASTER Unit, which delivers surgical training courses, allows access to an on-site skills laboratory and provides expert technical and managerial assistance. Partnership with the nearby University Hospital Aintree provides additional capacity for Basic Skills training and certain specialist courses.
Building on the philosophy of inclusivity and collaboration, the MSE has also been closely involved with the National Nurse Endoscopy Project. It provides both Training the Nurse Trainers courses and the Gastrointestinal Nursing (GIN) course. A collaborative partnership has also been established with Liverpool John Moores University, offering a degree level course for Specialist Practitioners working within the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme. This is the only such course in the country.
Increasingly, the focus of endoscopy training in the UK is directed at improving the training skills of endoscopists working outside specialist centres. To this end, the MSE provides a range of innovative JAG-approved Train-the-Trainers courses for established endoscopists. In the future, the School plans to develop Skills Improvement courses, aimed at practising endoscopists who recognise the need for further refinement of their technique and Advanced courses, designed to help accredited endoscopists keep abreast of developments in this rapidly evolving field.
National Endoscopy Training Centre at the Mersey School of Endoscopy
Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust