A TRAILBLAZING nurse is improving care for gynaecology patients and reducing waiting times.

Specialist nurse Caroline Bell, based at Whitehaven’s West Cumberland Hospital, has become the first nurse hysteroscopist in Cumbria.

She is one of only 80 in the UK qualified to perform the procedure, which examines the inside of the womb.

Her aim is to reduce national waiting times for this procedure, enabling patients to be diagnosed and treated quicker.

Outpatient hysteroscopy is used to investigate the cause of abnormal bleeding. It can rule out cancer and identify and treat other conditions of the womb.

This is a role traditionally undertaken by doctors or consultants but because of demands on their time, there can be long waiting lists.

Caroline has now set up specific clinics for this procedure at West Cumberland Hospital and about 10 patients every week are benefitting from her skills.

She said: “Previously women could have this procedure but there were waiting lists and I felt that this was something I could help with. I completed my masters at Bradford University and now I have set up dedicated nurse-led clinics which means I am able to see, diagnose and treat women on the same day.

“My vision is to standardise care nationally. I want to put Cumbria on the map for good practice and to be able to offer incentives to more nursing staff to train and acquire new skills like I have.”