Meet Ed, our new clinical lead

We are really excited about Xyla Elective Care’s new clinical lead, Dr Ed Seward. Ed is a consultant gastroenterologist and lead for endoscopy and he specialises in inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome. As the Clinical Lead for Endoscopy at UCLH, he developed a sub-specialist interest in therapeutic Endoscopy as well as pursuing a passion for service improvement and redesign, which culminated in his appointment as a National Clinical Advisor for Endoscopy.

More recently, he has been responsible for piloting a pathway to shorten diagnostic waits in colorectal cancer which was shortlisted for a prestigious BMJ award and has now been adopted nationally through Cancer Research UK’s ACE programme.

Find out more about him:

What do you feel are the most important considerations for delivering a high-quality insourcing service?

The beginning, middle and end of an insourcing service has to be quality and safety. When you invite such a service into your department, you are entrusting the care of your patients to a group of nurses and doctors you don’t know. In order to engender confidence and trust you have to guarantee to meet, and preferably exceed, the standards you would set within your own department.

How will Xyla Elective Care make a difference to Endoscopy?

Endoscopy in the UK was struggling to meet capacity demands even before Covid, but during the pandemic phase endoscopy activity fell to just 5% of normal. This has presented huge demands as patients with cancer symptoms are left potentially facing huge delays. Xyla can provide additional capacity to the NHS where it’s needed, rescuing services from drowning in referrals and providing patients with timely access to diagnostics. Of course, with Xyla it’s not just about insourcing either, and the very exciting thing is to look at the whole pathway from a patient point of view, so that diagnostic waits are reduced and the latest technology is used to provide cutting edge improvements in patient care.

Tell us something about yourself that no one knows?

I can juggle and cook a mean risotto, but not both at once.

What were your responsibilities as National Clinical Advisor for Endoscopy?

This was an NHS Improvement post and my brief was to try to improve endoscopy quality across England by providing assistance for struggling units. There was an emphasis on lean methodology and it led to the publication of ‘Productive Endoscopy’ – a toolkit for units to run more efficiently. The challenge is to try and embed efficiency within endoscopy units, NHS units are just too busy with day to day activity to be able to spend thinking space on tackling this.

Lastly, what is your largest achievement to date?

The one I’m proudest of is steering the endoscopy unit of my own Trust, University College London Hospital, through Covid. I’m very proud that we had the second highest activity in the UK through the pandemic despite the fact that North London was hit hard during the first wave of Covid. I’m also proud of the safety data we collected – over a thousand patients passed through the department and none of them developed Covid symptoms despite healthcare acquired infections being identified as a major cause of the spread of Covid. This demonstrates we were able to preserve staff and patient safety with stringent infection control measures.