Clinical News

Independent Cancer Taskforce Report

Monday, 27 July 2015 11:27

The Independent Cancer Taskforce has published its report, Achieving world-class cancer outcomes: a strategy for England 2015-2020. This report sets out recommendations for a new cancer strategy for England. An Executive Summary and press release are also available.

The Chair of the Taskforce, Harpal Kumar, sets out the opportunities to transform cancer services in a letter to the Chief Executives of the bodies responsible for running the NHS, and on the Cancer Research UK blog.

NHSIQ Productive Endoscopy

Tuesday, 14 July 2015 14:50

The Productive Endoscopy Unit is a set of 'how to' guides to help staff make improvements in endoscopy services and meet the quality improvement elements of the Global Rating Scale, and accreditation of service. The series is endorsed by the Joint Advisory Group for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (JAG).

Based on the principles and methodology of 'Productive Operating Theatre' the series will help units to reduce waste through better workplace organisation; offering support processes; guidance for scheduling processes and improvement of information and patient flow - leading to reductions in errors and delays. The Productive Endoscopy Unit is available free of charge (one per unit) to all NHS endoscopy provider organisations and will be available from 1 April 2015. To pre-order your free copy, please fill in the details at the following link:

NICE recommends vedolizumab as a treatment option for Crohn's Disease

Monday, 13 July 2015 11:17

NICE has issued final draft guidance which recommends vedolizumab (brand name: Entyvio) as a treatment option for Crohn's Disease after other treatments have failed.

Responding to the announcement, Dr Barney Hawthorne, Chair of the BSG's Inflammatory Bowel Disease Committee, said:

"The British Society of Gastroenterology welcomes the guidance from NICE on the use of vedolizumab in moderate to severe Crohn’s disease. It is extremely good news for patients suffering from this disabling condition. The introduction of anti-TNF therapy for inflammatory bowel disease over ten years ago revolutionised medical therapy for Crohn’s disease, but not all patients respond to these drugs, and some that do will subsequently lose their benefit. The availability of treatment targeting a completely different point in the inflammatory pathway offers hope for those who have primary or secondary loss of response to anti-TNF drugs, and who otherwise would be facing either surgery, or a return to high-dose steroid therapy. Vedolizumab works by blocking the passage of lymphocytes from the circulation into gut tissue, and may therefore provide a more gut-selective immunosuppression. It marks another step in the battle to restore the lives of Crohn's disease sufferers toward normality."

New Study Highlights Urgent Need to Improve GI Bleed Service Coverage

Friday, 03 July 2015 11:33

The British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG) has welcomed the publication of a landmark report into gastrointestinal (GI) bleed services, and repeated its calls for urgent action to improve service provision and protect safety for all patients in the UK.

Half of hospitals that patients are admitted to as an emergency cannot provide all the services they might need for a GI bleed, according to the study by the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD). In addition, NCEPOD found that 32% of hospitals in their sample admitting GI bleed patients did not have a 24/7 endoscopy service, and issued a clear call for this to change.

The BSG has been working with its members and relevant agencies for several years to improve the provision of acute upper GI bleed (AUGIB) services, including through:

  • A series of clinical audits on GI Bleeds nationally, including the audit conducted with the National Blood Service reported in 2010
  • Working with NHS Improving Quality (NHS IQ) to audit services across England, documented in the launch of a report in 2014 which included models for service improvement
  • Developing an Upper GI Toolkit with the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges
  • Contributing to the development of NICE guidance
  • Holding workshops with NHS IQ for BSG members on how services could be improved
  • Held a number of events at its annual conferences to highlight the issue

In addition to this, work is ongoing with NHS England to re-audit services to see where improvements have been made over the past two years. The BSG membership is united in its determination to see service change to make sure that patients with a GI bleed have access to the specialist services they need in an appropriate and timely manner.

Commenting, British Society of Gastroenterology President, Dr Ian Forgacs, said:

"This report is another important reminder of the urgent need to ensure that patients everywhere have access to GI bleed services available 24/7 either onsite or through a comprehensive network.

"Working with members to improve these services has been a key priority both for myself and the BSG for many years now, and this report is a reminder that there is still some way to go to deliver the services patients need and deserve.

"With the current political focus on delivering seven day services, particularly in areas where there is a high risk of mortality without appropriate treatment, there is a strong case for improving GI bleed services to be a key part of that agenda and we hope this report will help to build momentum and will for change around this issue.

"Until we see wholesale change to safe, comprehensive and high quality service coverage, the improvement of GI bleed services will remain a top priority for the BSG and its members."

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