Introduction The BSG working party report on the Provision of Endoscopy Related Services in District General Hospitals (2001) made clear projections of the estimated endoscopic workload in an average district general hospital.1
The Northern Region Endoscopy Group (NREG) is a network connecting all endoscopy units in the North East of England with the aim of promoting collaboration and endoscopy based research.
The aim of this study was to measure current endoscopic workload in the Northern Region Endoscopy Goup and compare it to the BSG recommendations.
Methods Questionnaires were sent to each of the 16 endoscopy units within the Northern Region of England.
Completed questionnaires were received from all 16 endoscopy units in nine trusts.
Results The total population served by endoscopy units within NREG is 3.5 million people.
Ninety-five thousand endoscopic procedures were performed across the region last year, 45 194 (47%) were upper GI, 27 541 (29%) colonoscopies, 17 912 (19%) flexible sigmoidoscopies and 2688 (3%) were ERCPs.
Across the region 13 gastroscopies per 1000 population, 7.9 colonoscopies, 5.1 flexible sigmoidoscopies and 0.77 ERCPs were performed per 1000 population per annum.
Conclusion Current endoscopic workload figures for upper GI endoscopy and ERCP are in line with the BSG working party's estimations of 2001.
The burden of lower GI work within the Northern Region is greater than the BSG predictions with nearly twice as many procedures as predicted being performed.
Contributing factors include changing referral practices, the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme, and more widespread open access services.
Current lower GI endoscopy workload figures are considerably higher than those quoted in the NICE document “Improving Outcomes on Colorectal Cancers” (2004)2 and the Royal College of Physicians publication “Consultant Physicians Working with Patients” (2004).3 Current workload is in line with Healthcare commission's 2006 survey.4
The implications of these data include:
Financial and manpower planning needs to take into account the increased burden on endoscopy services.
The BSG estimates for lower GI endoscopy workload should be revised.
A similar evaluation of changes in endoscopy workload should be performed at a national level.
Abstract submitted on behalf on the Northern Region Endoscopy Group (NREG).
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