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Gastroenterology services in the time of COVID-19 pandemic
  1. Laith Alrubaiy
  1. Department of Gastroenterology, St Mark’s Hospital and Academic Institute, Harrow, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Laith Alrubaiy, Department of Gastroenterology, St Mark's Hospital and Academic Institute, Harrow HA1 3UJ, UK; laithalrubaiy{at}

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In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, the way we provide health services in the field of gastroenterology is dramatically changing. Although the NHS is facing the biggest challenge since its foundation in 1948, gastroenterologists, like other colleagues, are hoping to maintain the essential services of an already busy specialty.

Apart from its direct effects, the epidemic has taken a toll on routine gastroenterology services, which include postponing routine endoscopy, speeding up patient discharges to free up space for the influx of patients with COVID-19, and stepping up to help colleagues cover other medical wards and intensive treatment units. Routine outpatient services are being scaled down to divert resources to fight the pandemic. All academic meetings scheduled in April and May have been deferred to future dates. Video conferencing has replaced regular MDT and departmental meetings in line with social distancing guidelines. Remote prescribing and drive-through pharmacies have been introduced to avoid …

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  • Contributors LA contributed to writing the manuscript. LA is responsible for the overall content.

  • 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; externally peer reviewed.