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Service updates Endoscopy

Information for patients awaiting endoscopy appointments

Please continue to attend all booked appointments and please seek our help in a medical emergency.

During COVID-19 patients will be contacted directly with information relating to endoscopy appointments, clinics and procedures.

Please check any direct correspondence you receive from the Trust.

Diary open with penThe department is working hard to minimise the risks of COVID-19 infection.

If you have received a letter with an appointment to attend hospital for an endoscopy procedure, please read our document for information about attending endoscopy appointments during COVID-19 pandemic. 

We apologise to all those who have had their appointment postponed and who have had to wait longer for their procedure due to the disruption caused by the virus.


How we are prioritising patients

The following information sets out the steps we are taking to ensure we prioritise patients according to their clinical need and to make sure all our patients receive an appointment for their procedure.

  • We are opening the department at weekends and are using additional private facilities at Blakelands Hospital near Milton Keynes, to enable us to increase the number of appointments we can offer.
  • In order to help us assess those with greatest clinical need we are sending out FIT (Faecal Immunochemical Test) tests to patients who are awaiting colonoscopy tests. We know that tiny traces of blood can be produced by polyps or cancers in the bowel and so this is a very sensitive test that detects any blood in the poo.

We would like everyone who is sent a test to follow the instructions included with the test or follow guidance given in the video link below. We will inform you of your results as soon as possible.

A video link to FIT test instructions are available on the bowel cancer screening page on our main site.

  1. If your test is positive you will be given priority and we will make sure you are offered your test within a few weeks.
  2. If the test is negative it is unlikely that there is any serious problem and you may have to wait a little longer.
  • Trust doctors assess the notes of everyone who is waiting for a colonoscopy to make sure that the procedure is necessary and in accordance with the latest national guidance*. We will inform you of the outcome of this process by letter. If your FIT test is negative and you still need to have a colonoscopy after your records have been reviewed by the doctor then you will receive an appointment in due course.

It is very important that if you have new worrying symptoms related to your gut at any point, that you consult your GP as soon as possible, whatever the result of the review of your notes or FIT test. For example:

  • Bleeding from your bottom and/or visible blood in your poo
  • A persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason
  • A pain or lump in your tummy

 

Links to The British Society of Gastroenterology guidance

www.bsg.org.uk/clinical-resource 

www.bsg.org.uk/Family-History-Surveillance