Media & Press

Summary of BSG Seminar - 11 Downing Street


Around 80 people attended the seminar, including politicians, policymakers and representatives of health agencies.

BSG president, Professor Chris Hawkey welcomed the audience. He explained the BSG is a collection of disciplines and perspectives that places a big emphasis on clinical standards and quality. We are holding this seminar because the BSG wants to have the same positive relationships with policymakers as we have with patients.

The seminar was divided into three sections: on IBD, GI bleeding and new endoscopic techniques.

At the seminar we focused on the chronic illness IBD, the acute problem of upper GI bleeding and the potential of endoscopy to impact on cancer prevention.


IBD Standards

§ IBD (Crohn's disease or colitis) develops in young people and continues lifelong with embarrassing and debilitating symptoms. The singer Carrie Grant, who suffers from Crohn's disease, illustrated how young people can become stronger if helped to meet the challenge.

§ Care aspirations are encapsulated in the document "Minimum Standards of Care for Patients with IBD", ( built around the following six principles.

  • A: High quality multidisciplinary clinical
  • B: Local delivery of care
  • C: Maintaining a patient-centred service
  • D: Patient education and support
    • constraints of the illness
  • E: Information technology and audit -
    • A service that uses IT effectively to support patient care and to optimise clinical management through data collection and audit
  • F: Evidence-based practice and research -
    • A service that is knowledge-based and actively supports service improvement and clinical research.

These have been strongly supported by ministers, health spokespeople, the Department and Care Quality Commission. Full endorsement would greatly help our aim of having adoption across the UK by October 2010

Out of hours acute gastrointestinal bleeding

  • Upper gastrointestinal bleeding is the most dangerous (8% mortality) common reason for hospital admission with 80,000 episodes pa.
  • While eminently treatable with interventional endoscopy and radiology, a comprehensive 24 hour service is required at all hospitals yet 45% of them do not provide it.
  • The BSG is currently working with the National Patient Safety Agency and the Royal College of Physicians on CROMES (Consultant Rota On-call Modelling of Endoscopy Services). We would like to stimulate interim safety measures as well as the long-term solution of a comprehensive 24 hours service.

Prevention of gastrointestinal cancers

  • A quiet revolution in endoscopic equipment has greatly advanced detection and non-invasive treatment of GI cancers and pre-cancers.
  • Ian Dawson, a patient from Yorkshire, described how endoscopic removal of his pre-malignant oesophageal cancer as a day case avoided major mutilating surgery.
  • The BSG wants to work more closely with the Department of Health and other partners to ensure outmoded approaches are discarded and modern technologies assessed rapidly to achieve intelligent early adoption and procurement of diagnostic and therapeutic modalities that improve care. The BSG feels this dovetails with ongoing work in the medical directorate on diagnostic technologies and will be of real benefit to commissioners and most importantly patients

Overall Goals

We would like to be proactive in achieving a service that modernises faster, actively discards outmoded activity and drives up quality with services that patients want, whilst reducing spending.