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Ashford and St Peter’s celebrates the launch of CEMIG
Written by Communications Team   

Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals is one of 18 centres in the country with accreditation for surgical treatment of advanced endometriosis, a debilitating condition that affects the lives of almost 2 million women in the UK, causing pain and infertility. This accreditation is awarded by a leading professional body, the British Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy (BSGE).


Mr. Shaheen Khazali, Consultant Gynaecologist, explains more: “Ashford and St Peter’s was one of the first centres in the country to achieve national accreditation from BSGE a few years ago, thanks to the efforts of my predecessor, Professor Jeremy Wright. We are determined to be one of the best centres for minimally invasive gynaecology in the country.” He added: “Minimally invasive (keyhole) surgery allows women to get better quicker, compared to conventional open surgery. Most women undergoing keyhole hysterectomy leave hospital the day after the operation, sometimes even the same day and they can go back to work within a couple of weeks. This benefits the patient, the community and the health system.”


From left to right: Patient Justine Mockett, Specialist Nurse Michelle Davies, Patient representative Angela Dunwoodie and Chief Executive of Endometriosis UK Helen North.


Mr. Saikat Banerjee, Consultant Gynaecologist said: “Our team has a good track record for being at the forefront of our specialty; Professor Wright has led us to here until his retirement. Together with my consultant colleague and fellow surgeon Mr. Shaheen Khazali, we have built a level of excellence for diagnosing and treating endometriosis as well as in minimally invasive gynaecological surgery that allows us to provide a world-class service to our community.” He added: “To become an accredited centre, we needed to show that we perform a certain number of complex surgical operations for endometriosis and that we are monitoring and reporting our data regarding our complex procedures nationally.”

Mr. Khazali continued “We managed to bid for additional funding through our Chief Executive’s Innovation Fund to recruit a specialist endometriosis nurse, Michelle Davies, which will be the first point of contact for our patients. We are very pleased to have Michelle on board and have no doubt that she will be crucial in delivering an excellent service to women suffering with pelvic pain.”


From L to R: Mr Saikat Banerjee, Michelle Davies, Divisional Director for Women & Children’s Services Dr Paul Crawshaw, Trust Chairman Aileen McLeish, Trust Chief Executive Andrew Liles, Professor Jeremy Wright, Helen North, Gill Nelson Business Manager for Women’s Health, Associate Director of Midwifery Sandra Houston and Mr Shaheen Khazali.


Promoting their service, known as CEMIG (Centre for endometriosis and minimally invasive gynaecology) at an event last month, the team were delighted to welcome local GPs, former patients and the Chief Executive of Endometriosis UK, Helen North, the leading charity for the condition in the country.

Helen commented: “I was delighted to be invited to come to Ashford and St Peter’s for this event. 10% of women have endometriosis and they often struggle to find high quality care and knowledge. Following the tradition of good practice laid down by Professor Jeremy Wright, it is a real boost to women that the Trust has continued to invest in this area. As a result women are able to access an excellent standard of care from a team who understand the chronic nature of this condition and have a real desire to improve the quality of life for women with endometriosis.”

Former patient and member of the Trust’s patient support group, Justine Mockett added: “To have surgeons operating that are such experts in endometriosis is vital; it is such a common condition and you do not get that expertise everywhere. I think it’s fantastic that the condition is recognised in this way and supported by the Trust.”