BSG guidelines deal with the investigation, management and prevention of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.

These Guidelines and guidance documents have been prepared or endorsed by the British Society of Gastroenterology. They represent a consensus of best practice based on the available evidence at the time of preparation. They may not apply in all situations and should be interpreted in the light of specific clinical situations and resource availability. Clinical decisions involve a complex analysis of the patient’s condition and available routes of action which may lead a clinician to take a course of action that varies from these guidelines or guidance. Guidelines and guidance documents are not rules and should not be interpreted as establishing a legal standard of care.

National Library for Health

National Library for Health Gastroenterology & Liver Diseases Specialist Library

The National Library for Health Gastroenterology & Liver Diseases Specialist Library ( GLDSL)  is available via .

The Specialist Libraries are an integral part of the National Library for Health (NLH), a library and information service for the NHS, aiming to deliver a range of services on a 24 x 7 basis to support patient care, staff development and research. For further information visit - The NLH Gastroenterology & Liver Diseases Specialist Library (GLDSL) draws together resources and information that is relevant, best evidence and current within these specialties. Although targeted at health professionals it also serves to inform patients and their carers.


Consultant Physicians Working for Patients - 3rd edition, January 2005 (Section on Gastroenterology reproduced by kind permission of the Royal College of Physicians of London).



This report describes the work of a consultant physician providing a service in acute general medicine and gastroenterology and recommends a workload consistent with high standards of patient care. It also sets out the work generated in gastroenterology by a population of 250,000, and gives the consultant workload as notional half days (NHDs) for each element of such a service.

Burden of Disease


Gastroenterology services in the UK. The burden of disease, and the organisation and delivery of services for gastrointestinal and liver disorders: a review of the evidence

J G Williams, S E Roberts, M F Ali, W Y Cheung, D R Cohen, G Demery, A Edwards,M Greer, M D Hellier, H A Hutchings, B Ip, M F Longo, I T Russell, H A Snooks and JC Williams

Gut 2007;56;1-113


This document has been commissioned by the British Society of Gastroenterology. It is intended to draw together the evidence needed to fill the void created by the absence of a national framework or guidance for service provision for the management of patients with gastrointestinal and hepatic disorders. It sets out the service, economic and personal burden of such disorders in the UK, describes current service provision, and draws conclusions about the effectiveness of current models, based on available evidence. It does not seek to replicate existing guidance, which has been produced for upper and lower gastrointestinal cancers, hepatobiliary and pancreatic disorders, and many chronic disorders of the gut. It does, however, draw on evidence contained in these documents. It is intended to be of value to patient groups, clinicians, managers, civil servants, and politicians, particularly those responsible for developing or delivering services for patients with gastrointestinal disorders.

The burden of gastrointestinal and liver disease is heavy for patients, the NHS, and the economy, with gastrointestinal disease the third most common cause of death, the leading cause of cancer death, and the most common cause of hospital admission. There have been increases in the incidence of most gastrointestinal diseases which have major implications for future healthcare needs. These diseases include hepatitis C infections, acute and chronic pancreatitis, alcoholic liver disease, gallstone disease, upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage, diverticular disease, Barrett’s oesophagus, and oesophageal and colorectal cancers. Socioeconomic deprivation is linked to a number of gastrointestinal diseases, such as gastric and oesophageal cancers, hepatitis B and C infections, peptic ulcer, upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage, as well as poorer prognosis for colorectal, gastric, and oesophageal cancers. The burden on patients’ health related quality of life has been found to be substantial for symptoms, activities of daily living, and employment, with conditions with a high level of disruption to sufferers’ lives found to include: gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, dyspepsia, irritable bowel syndrome, anorectal disorders, gastrointestinal cancers, and chronic liver disease. However, impact on patients is neither fully nor accurately reflected in routine mortality and activity statistics and although overall, the burden of gastrointestinal disease on health related quality of life in the general population appears to be high, the burden is neither systematically nor comprehensively described.

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PRISM project 9608

Report prepared by - Dr Grant Lewison
Second Report
26 June 1997
The Wellcome Trust


This study was in three main parts. In the first part, citations to gastroenterology papers (GASTR) supported by the British Society of Gastroenterology and British Digestive Foundation were shown to be higher than to papers supported by other charities by a factor of about two, and higher than to papers without a funding body by a factor of about three. In the second part, citations to the 12 925 UK gastroenterology papers by US patents were examined. The GASTR papers were cited more often if they were basic rather than clinical, and if they had more authors or more funding bodies, but not if they were co-authored by different labs. The citing patents had 14% of UK inventors but only 9% of UK assignees, suggesting a relative failure of UK firms to exploit UK gastroenterological science.

UK Upper GI Bleeding Audit

UK Comparative Audit of Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding and the Use of Blood

The reports for the UK audit of upper gastrointestinal bleeding and the use of blood are now finished, and all consultant leads for participating hospitals should receive an email copy of their report by Friday 14th December. If you were involved in the audit and have not received a copy by this date, please contact Dr Sarah Hearnshaw or Mr John Grant-Casey (details below).



Alcohol Related Disease

Alcohol Related Disease: Meeting the Challenge of Improved Quality of care and Better Use of Resources


A Draft Joint Position Paper by BSG/BASL/AHA

This document will be available on this page from 12th March 2010


DoH Cancer Commissioning Guidance

The cancer commissioning guidance announced as part of the Cancer Reform Strategy has been developed to support world-class commissioning of cancer services across the NHS. The guidance sets out, in an easy-to-use format, key issues and questions that commissioners and cancer network teams will want to take into consideration when assessing health needs, reviewing services, developing their contract service specifications and monitoring performance.

The cancer commissioning guidance sits alongside the linked web-based cancer commissioning toolkit which supports commissioners of cancer services by providing a range of benchmarked information and data.

BSG Introduction: DoH Cancer Commissioning Guidance [ 36 Kb ]

Cancer Commissioning Guidance: documentation on DoH website


BSG Strategy Document 2006

'Care of Patients with Gastrointestinal Disorders in the United Kingdom:
A Strategy for the Future'

BSG Strategy Document: 'Care of Patients With Gastrointestinal Disorders in the United Kingdom:  A Strategy for the Future'

The aim of this strategy document is to provide a robust support for the development and commissioning of Gastroenterology and Hepatology services in the UK. We envisage it will be used in business planning and service improvement in primary care at local Trust level and regional level. We also expect it to be an essential document in negotiations for improvement in service and future planning.

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About the BSG

The British Society of Gastroenterology is an organisation focused on the promotion of gastroenterology within the United Kingdom. It has over three thousand members drawn from the ranks of physicians, surgeons, pathologists, radiologists, scientists, nurses, dietitians, and others interested in the field. Founded in 1937 it has grown from a club to be a major force in British medicine, with representation within the British Royal Colleges and consequently the Department of Health and Government. Internationally it is represented at World and European level. The BSG is a registered charity.

The BSG runs an annual scientific meeting at which many hundred original papers are presented to audiences approaching 2600 professionals. It is also intimately involved in all aspects of training of British gastroenterology and to original research in the field. Research is supported indirectly through promotion of high standards and offering platforms for scientific presentation and publication, and directly through substantial financial contributions to the Society's affiliated charity, Core (formerly the Digestive Disorders Foundation).

"Gut", the Society's scientific journal is Europe's highest ranked, by citation-related impact factor. The Society regularly produces guidelines on aspects of contemporary practice.

While the Society exists for the promotion of the discipline it is not itself able to provide medical advice nor to recommend individual practitioners. Prospective patients are advised to consult their own medical advisers with a view to referral to a member of the Society.

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