Around 69% of the population experience persistent gut and digestive medical conditions, which requires NHS gastroenterology teams to treat millions of patients every year.

Gastrointestinal (GI) issues accounting for one in ten GP consultations, while digestive diseases such as liver disease are a factor in one in eight deaths in the UK. Liver disease rates are increasing and expected to become the biggest cause of premature death in the next few years.

Gastroenterology has expanded at a greater rate than any other acute major medical specialty over the past 30 years due to demands for diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy procedures.

The key recommendations of the GIRFT report focus on introducing more six and seven-day endoscopy services, working more closely with primary care networks and increasing proactive care programmes for patients with chronic conditions.

Dr Beverly Oates

Clinical Lead for Gastroenterology

Dr Oates qualified from Birmingham University in 1993 and undertook her Specialist Registrar training in Mersey region, including completing a Doctorate of Medicine at Liverpool University. She has been the training programme director for gastroenterology in Mersey since 2007, and national recruitment lead for Gastroenterology since 2009. 

She is the treasurer of the British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG) and former Chair of the BSG training committee, as well as a member of the Gastroenterology Special Advisory Committee, BSG executive committee and BSG council, and the Joint Advisory Group (JAG) for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.

In November 2015, Dr Oates was named HSJ Clinical Leader of the Year. This very prestigious individual award was in recognition of her national, regional and local leadership achievements. In the same year she was named Employee of the Year by her own trust, an organisation with 5,500 staff.

In her own time she has been a trustee at Wirral Hospice St John’s since 2011, and Deputy Chair of the Board of Trustees since 2015. 

GIRFT gastroenterology report recommends more weekend services and early specialist triage to help manage demand and improve productivity 

The GIRFT specialty report outlines a range of measures to help gastroenterology services enhance clinical outcomes and increase surgical outputs.

Key recommendations aim to ensure the right patients are prioritised and then cared for quickly, efficiently, and safely including better triage to help streamline referrals.

More proactive care programmes for patients – such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) – will help enable earlier diagnosis and management of flare-ups, reduce emergency admissions and the need for surgery. 

Find out more about GIRFT’s data-led approach and best practice resources:

In September 2021 , GIRFT published its national speciality report for Gastroenterology:

Click above to view the pdf report

Watch the video about the Gastroenterology report…

Click above to play the Gastroenterology national report video

Gastroenterology Academy Resources