Diagnosis and Treatment
Recovery of endoscopy services during COVID-19
Endoscopies are procedures in which a tube is inserted into the body to examine organs or carry out treatments. They are used in diagnosis and treatment of several types of cancer, including bowel, oesophageal and stomach cancers (gastrointestinal or GI), as well as for other conditions. Tens of thousands of GI endoscopies are carried out in the north central London area every year.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, endoscopy clinicians and managers in north central London worked together on a recovery programme to address the waiting lists that had built up. The Cancer Alliance supports this collaborative work by providing programme management, co-ordinating capacity sharing between sites, and funding to expand services. As a result, in autumn of 2020, NCL was the first area in England to return to delivering endoscopy activity at a pre-COVID-19 level.
Longer term plans for endoscopy in the area include introducing a less invasive technique for some endoscopies (transnasal endoscopies), building or equipping new endoscopy rooms, new clinical techniques and improving the management of demand and capacity across the sector.
This work will be overseen by a new established North Central London Endoscopy Network hosted by the Cancer Alliance and chaired by Clinical Co-Leads, Dr Charles Murray (Royal Free London) and Dr Sara McCartney (UCLH).