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Guidance on the indications for diagnostic upper GI endoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy

Adam Harris Chair, BSG Clinical Services and Standards Committee (CSSC) - April 2013

In 2011 the Independent Practice Committee of the BSG was asked to provide approved guidance on the indications for diagnostic endoscopy. There was none although it was common practice to 'validate' requests for endoscopy; indeed this is a requirement of the GRS. Following this request it was agreed that a small working group of individuals from CSSC (Adam Harris), Independent Practice Committee (Simon Greenfield), Endoscopy Section (Steve Hughes and Mark Wilkinson) and Surgical Section (Roger Leicester) would produce a draft list of indications for diagnostic upper GI endoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy. The 'evidence-base' for this was unsurprisingly small but wherever possible, the Guidance is supported by published documents from the BSG and NICE.

The first draft was circulated to the members of BSG Endoscopy Section and CSSC. An amended document was sent to William Allum (President, AUGIS) and Rupert Pullen (ACPGBI), Karen Nugent (ACPGBI) and Graham Williams (President, ACPGBI) who took the Guidance to their respective Councils; their helpful comments were addressed to produce the final document. On 22 March 2013 BSG Council approved the tripartite Guidance.

Last, we appreciate fully that this Guidance cannot be fully inclusive and ultimately clinical judgement is required to determine when an endoscopy is required but taking into account these reservations, we hope that you will find this Position Statement useful.