Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Quality Assurance programme will help standardise Gastro-Intestinal Endoscopy services across Ireland

10 October 2011

The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI) and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) today launched the National Quality Assurance Programme in Gastro-Intestinal Endoscopy.

Quality Assurance Programme in Gastro-Intestinal Endoscopy

Pictured (L-R) Dr John Donohoe, President RCPI; Dr Stephen Patchett, Consultant Gastroenterologist, Beaumont Hospital; Prof John Hyland, Consultant Surgeon, St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin & President Irish Society Gastroenterology (2009-2011); Dr Susan O’Reilly, Director of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP), Mr Leo Kearns CEO RCPI; Mr Joe Duignan, Consultant Surgeon, St. Michael’s Hospital Dublin.


The National Quality Assurance Programme in Gastro-Intestinal Endoscopy, developed in collaboration with the HSE's National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) and the National Cancer Screening Service (NCSS), will require participating endoscopy units to measure and assess their performance against intelligent targets.

The programme focuses on the quality of work carried out by individual endoscopists (doctors and surgeons who carry out internal examinations of the digestive tract). All public and private units across the country have been invited to participate in the programme.

Guidelines for implementing quality assurance in endoscopy units have been drawn up and were launched to endoscopists, endoscopy nurses and hospital CEOs from all over Ireland at a half-day workshop today. Implementation guidelines focus on how to embed quality assurance in routine clinical practice. At the workshop, attendees were encouraged to discuss the implementation process and share solutions.

Dr Stephen Patchett, Consultant Gastroenterologist at Beaumont Hospital and a member of the working group that developed the programme, said, "The launch of the Quality Assurance programme will have a very significant impact on the quality of endoscopy provided to patients in Ireland. Physicians and surgeons have worked together to produce clear guidelines designed to improve both quality and safety in upper and lower gastrointestinal endoscopy. This is a very important and most welcome development in view of the increasing demands for endoscopy in the symptomatic population and in the setting of a national colon cancer screening programme."

Prof John Hyland, Consultant Surgeon at St Vincent's University Hospital and also a member of the working group that developed the programme, said, "The development of the Endoscopy QA programme is of immense importance to the Irish public and will result in guaranteed high quality care throughout the country. The committed involvement of both physicians and surgeons cannot be underestimated, and is evidence of cooperation in the interest of patients."