Objective There are no specific data available regarding paediatric endoscopy provision in the UK and anecdotal experiences suggest that such provision varies widely between the units. The aim of our study was to identify the current provision of paediatric endoscopy services in the UK, the number of endoscopies performed in each unit, the number of operators performing these endoscopies and whether endoscopies were performed under sedation or general anaesthesia.
Methods and results An email questionnaire was sent to all 31 units in the UK performing paediatric endoscopies and responses were received from 25 centres (81%). The median number of total endoscopies (upper and lower) per unit each year was 332 (range 64-2040). The median number of gastrosopy per consultant in each centre was 101 (range 20-288) and median number of colonoscopies performed per consultant per year was 49 (range 10-215). 18 of the 25 centres performed all endoscopies under general anaesthesia with 7 centres using sedation as well as general anaesthesia. Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy insertion (PEG) was performed in 24 out of 25 centres with the service undertaken by paediatric surgeons in 11 centres. 11 centres provided formal out of hours endoscopy services.
Conclusion There is wide variation in paediatric endoscopy provision and the British Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (BSPGHAN) endoscopy working group is collaborating with the Joint Advisory Group (JAG) to provide specific standards for paediatric endoscopy services in the UK.
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