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We are writing in relation to the study by Rutter et al with interest.1 The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in major changes to healthcare delivery in many clinical areas including endoscopic services.1–3 The British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG) and Joint Advisory Group for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (JAG) issued guidance for endoscopic services on 23 March 2020 recommending activities prioritising emergencies or essential procedures and postponement of non-emergency cases, bowel cancer screening and surveillance.4
The study by Rutter et al reported a substantial reduction to as low as 5% of normal endoscopic activity in the UK earlier on in the pandemic with only a 20% increase of pre-COVID-19 levels 10 weeks later. Endoscopic cancer detection rate reduced by 58% overall, with a worrying 72% reduction for colorectal cancer during the study period.1 A national survey of UK endoscopy leads in May 2020 showed a substantial number of endoscopy services stopped performing endoscopy with an anticipated slow recovery and …
Contributors SS contributed to planning, data collection, analysis, reporting of work and wrote the letter (responsible for overall content). NM contributed to planning, data collection, analysis and made adjustments to letter. MD contributed to data collection. DNN contributed to statistical analysis. SK contributed to data, planning, data analysis and made adjustments to letter. JG contributed to data, planning, data analysis and made adjustments to letter. MI contributed to data, data analysis and made adjustments to letter. MM contributed to data and data analysis. VG (overall supervisor) supervised and contributed to data, project planning, data analysis, made adjustments and help finalise the letter.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.