National Quality Assurance Programme in Gastro-Intestinal Endoscopy launched at RCPI

A national Quality Assurance programme developed by RCPI and RCSI will help standardise Gastro-Intestinal Endoscopy services across Ireland.

The Conjoint Board of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI) and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) has launched a National Quality Assurance Programme in Gastro-Intestinal Endoscopy, in collaboration with the HSE’s National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) and the National Cancer Screening Service (NCSS).

Guidelines for implementing quality assurance in endoscopy units across Ireland were launched to endoscopists, endoscopy nurses and hospital CEOs at RCPI on 10 October 2011. All public and private units across the country were invited to participate in the programme.

The implementation guidelines outline how to embed quality assurance in routine clinical practice, and focuses on the quality of work carried out by individual endoscopists. The guidelines also explain how each endoscopy unit can measure and assess their performance against intelligent targets, if necessary, initiate improvement. 

Dr Stephen Patchett, Consultant Gastroenterologist at Beaumont Hospital and a member of the working group that developed the programme, said, “The launch of the Quality Assurance programme will have a very significant impact on the quality of endoscopy provided to patients in Ireland. Physicians and surgeons have worked together to produce clear guidelines designed to improve both quality and safety in upper and lower gastrointestinal endoscopy. This is a very important and most welcome development in view of the increasing demands for endoscopy in the symptomatic population and in the setting of a national colon cancer screening programme.” 

Prof John Hyland, Consultant Surgeon at St Vincent’s University Hospital and also a member of the working group that developed the programme, said, “The development of the Endoscopy QA programme is of immense importance to the Irish public and will result in guaranteed high quality care throughout the country. The committed involvement of both physicians and surgeons cannot be underestimated, and is evidence of cooperation in the interest of patients.” 

You can download a copy of the guidelines for implementing Quality Assurance in Gastro-Intestinal Endoscopy here.