Gastroenterology experts call for 24-hour service in all UK hospitals
He was appointed to two house officer posts at the London, and served two years national service, mostly as a medical specialist. After a clutch of junior positions elsewhere, he returned to the London as a registrar. He was appointed senior registrar at the Radcliffe Infirmary in 1962 and in 1966 received his doctorate. Eager to become a consultant, he spent a happy year at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Returning to Oxford, Dr Schiller worked with his mentor and lifelong friend Dr Sidney Truelove. They undertook an in-depth survey of haematemesis and melaena, and the risky abdominal surgical interventions that were undertaken as a result. Truelove had acquired the first flexible fibre-optic gastroscope capable of taking biopsies under direct vision, and together they pioneered its early use. Some conservatives opposed them, but they soon demonstrated that it allowed for safe and non-invasive investigations that frequently obviated the need for surgery. In 1967, Schiller was appointed consultant physician to St Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey, where he developed a thriving endoscopy unit. His interest led him to make contact with other aspiring endoscopists and the formation of the British Society for Digestive Endoscopy (BSDE), an influential organisation that campaigned successfully for NHS support. With Truelove as president and Schiller as honorary secretary, training courses flourished and regular national and international conferences ensued. While at St Peter’s, Schiller found himself increasingly at odds with what he regarded as political and managerial interference.
Gastro nurse specialists ‘vital’ to hospitals
The call comes after a UK-wide audit from the society revealed that nearly half of UK hospitals do not provide an out-of-hours endoscopy service, despite 60% of acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding episodes occurring out of normal working hours. According to the British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG), more than 700 lives could be saved each year if all hospitals offered a 24-hour service. Addressing a meeting at Number 11, Downing Street yesterday to raise awareness of gastroenterological conditions, BSG president, professor Chris Hawkey, said: Our audit has shown that about 80,000 patients a year are admitted with gastrointestinal bleeding, which has an 8% mortality rate. Yet only 55% of trusts at the moment provide a comprehensive out-of-hours GI bleeding service we need to get this to 100%, he added. The BSG is also calling for six new standards of care for patients with inflammatory bowel disease to be implemented by all UK commissioners by October 2010. Readers’ comments (1) Anonymous | 26-Jun-2009 8:24 pm The B.S.G. is correct in calling for a 24/7 service. In my experience, during almost 20 years of endoscopy nursing, most bleeds and other emergencies occurred outside of the normal working day. The equipment is available and I believe that the service should be funded. Patients deserve prompt effective diagnosis and treatment.
High-quality care is built around multidisciplinary teams, and specialist nurses are a really key component of these teams, professor Hawkey told a meeting to raise awareness of gastroenterological conditions at 11 Downing Street. Specialist nurses are the interface that patients most value, and they play a predominant role in patient care. Although many hospitals do have them, we want every hospital in the UK to have a nurse specialist, he said. The specialists will be needed to play a key role in delivering six new minimum standards of care for patients with inflammatory bowel disease. The standards have been developed by seven stakeholder organisations including the BSG and the RCN s Crohns and Colitis special interest group. The stakeholder group wants all UK commissioners to implement the standards by October 2010. They include maintaining a patient-centred service, providing patient education and support, and delivering high-quality care to all UK patients with IBD. We want every strategic health authority to be aware of these standards, and all 161 commissioning bodies to adopt these standards of care as the norm for their local community, said professor Hawkey. The call for more specialist nurses was also backed by the National Association for Colitis and Crohns disease , which launched a campaign in 2005 to increase the number of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) nurse specialists. The campaign was started after a NACC survey revealed that just 26% of UK colitis and Crohns patients had the support of an IBD nurse specialist. According to data from the UK IBD national audits, this figure increased quite dramatically to 56% in 2006, and to 62% by 2008.