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Gastrointestinal endoscopy during COVID-19: when less is more
  1. Cathryn Edwards1,
  2. Ian D Penman1,
  3. Mark Coleman2
  1. 1 British Society of Gastroenterology, London, UK
  2. 2 Joint Advisory Group, Endoscopy, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ian D Penman, Centre for Liver & Digestive Disorders, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH16 4SA, UK; ian.penman{at}

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Writing and publishing in these fast-moving times necessitates continuous vigilance against perverse consequences. For this reason, the British Society of Gastroenterology-Joint Advisory Group (BSG-JAG) documents circulated as best consensus guidance for UK Endoscopy,1–3 dating from 20th March 2020, have been subject to repeat scrutiny over the last 13 days. The latest iterations of these documents are available at

Newton’s Third Law states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.4 The time sequence of various advice documents from the devolved health administrations followed after the BSG-JAG principles of practice were published. For the most part, governments have endorsed these principles at face value.5 There are, inevitably, nuances (eg, the timing of the continued implementation of cancer diagnostics and screening),6 but as a professional membership society in touch with the realities of the UK workforce on the ground, the importance of the primary BSG-JAG message of pausing to regroup, articulated in the early guidance, cannot be overstated; acknowledging …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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