Clinical News

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NICE has issued final draft guidance which recommends vedolizumab (brand name: Entyvio) as a treatment option for Crohn's Disease after other treatments have failed.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

New RCP Guidance on Commissioning in Secondary Care

Thursday, 02 July 2015 13:36

Commissioning secondary care in England: what does it all mean?

In 2013, the NHS in England underwent significant changes that introduced a new set of structures for commissioning and providing healthcare. The system of planning, delivering and funding healthcare services can seem complex, and technical terms are often used to describe commissioning and related issues such as contracting.

This practical guide, published by the Royal College of Physicians, is designed to help make sense of commissioning, contracting and related issues including the NHS payment system. It aims to help physicians in England to influence the way that patient care is planned and provided in their local area and nationally.

Royal College of Physicians census of consultant physicians and trainees 2013-2014

Monday, 29 June 2015 11:29

Census of consultant physicians and higher specialty trainees in the UK - Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2013–14

The Royal College of Physicians (London) has published the full report of the 2013/14 census of consultant physicians and higher specialty trainees in the UK. The census measures the number of consultant physicians and higher specialty trainees working in the UK, as well as gathering vital information about how physicians are working.

To accompany the full report of the census the Royal College of Physicians (London) are also publishing short reports and commentaries for each of the 29 physician specialties. These offer a more in depth look at the workforce in each individual specialty.

If you have any questions regarding the census please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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