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Non-Medical Endoscopists

A Report of the Working Party of the British Society of Gastroenterology,
principal authors: E Swarbrick, S Harnden, R Hodson, M Vance, P Bottrill, D Elliott, M Hayward and G Panting

Summary

Since the last BSG Working Party in 1994, Nurse Endoscopists have established themselves and are widely accepted as independent practitioners throughout the United Kingdom.1,2 Over 200 nurses contribute significantly to endoscopy services as gastroscopists, flexible sigmoidoscopists, colonoscopists and trainers in the these techniques. They have been shown to be as competent, safe, acceptable and in some areas more thorough than medical endoscopists.(3,4,5,6,7)

Their practice is underpinned by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Code of Professional Practice which gives them clear guidance on their development, responsibilities and accountability;8 nurses demonstrate clear understanding of the medico-legal implications of their role and it is clear that they have become deeply embedded and welcomed into the fabric of modern endoscopy.