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Highlights from this issue
  1. George JM Webster,
  2. Colin Rees,
  3. Philip J Smith

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We are delighted to introduce this special issue of Frontline, devoted to endoscopy. It coincides with the major endoscopy event in the UK this year – Endolive UK 2017 (Birmingham ICC, March We hope that the issue will complement understanding of the wide range of procedures covered in this important meeting, and also inspire further interest in the topics covered.

The last 15 years have seen huge change in UK endoscopy, in terms of quality, technique complexity, endoscope developments, and service volume and delivery. It is fair to say that this has arisen in part from a low point, with data from the BSG colonoscopy audit 20 years ago suggesting suboptimal performance. It should be a source of huge collective pride that the changes promoted by JAG, and carried forward in all of our endoscopy units, have yielded dramatic improvements which are recognised internationally. The improvements in colonoscopy (and the wide and expanding range of diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy) derive from a few fundamentals, including an emphasis on endoscopic training, the assessment of indicators of quality, and service change. These areas will be central components of Endolive UK, at which live demonstration, lectures, symposia, and ‘meet the expert’ sessions will be used to enhance the care we deliver and to better understand not only ‘how to do it’ but ‘when to do it’. Quality is the thread that runs through all that we aim to do, and at Endolive UK the BSG's Endoscopic Quality Improvement Programme (EQIP) will be introduced. This exciting and important programme will impact on how we assess and deliver both our individual and collective endoscopy practice.

For this special issue UK experts have provided concise, punchy commentaries on all aspects of endoscopy that impact on our clinical practice, including technical aspects related to specific clinical scenarios, technological developments, and important changes in training and service delivery. Like Endolive UK we hope and expect that this issue will inform, challenge, and enthuse all those involved in striving to deliver an excellent endoscopy service.