UEG calls for more nurse endoscopy workforce to reduce CRC deaths

Published on June 20, 2014 at 8:53 AM · No Comments

Increase in nurse endoscopy training is vital to reduce rising numbers of colorectal cancer deaths across Europe

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is currently estimated to claim the lives of 214,675 adults in Europe, equivalent to 1 death every 3 minutes. With this figure predicted to rise by 12% by 2020 United European Gastroenterology (UEG), Europe's largest digestive health body, calls for an urgent increase in screening uptake and the availability of more trained nurse endoscopists across Europe, to prevent rising mortality.

Colorectal cancer is extremely lethal in its advanced stages yet early detection can result in a 90-95% survival rate. Regular screening reduces the risk of dying from the disease by 20-30% using the Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) and it is well established that patients who are maintained free of adenomas by endoscopic polypectomy are generally kept cancer free. In fact, recent studies have also suggested that endoscopic screening is associated with a substantial reduction in mortality specifically from colorectal cancer and has a more preventive effect than FOBT screening. 

However, there is currently a considerable lack of nurse endoscopy workforce in the majority of European countries, and the main provider of endoscopy in many countries remains with the physician. Sweden and the UK are the only European countries to have nurse endoscopists available nationally and Denmark and the Netherlands have nurse endoscopists but just in certain regions.

United European Gastroenterology (UEG) welcome the vital steps the European Society of Gastroenterology and Endoscopy Nurses and Associates (ESGENA) are taking to transform nurse endoscopy training and provision across Europe.

Michael Ortmann, President of the European Society of Gastroenterology and Endoscopy Nurses and Associates (ESGENA) explains; "We have established a European Endoscopy Nurses Forum (EENF) which has allowed collaboration between European countries to establish a harmonised training programme for endoscopy nurses and allowed standardisation of the role of endoscopy nurses across Europe, including training requirements, which will have a significant impact on the reduction of colorectal cancer deaths."

ESGENA in combination with ESGE (European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy) and the Austrian Society of Endoscopy and GE Nurses and Assistants (IVEPA), will be hosting a conference as part of UEG Week (18-22 October 2014) in Vienna, offering high quality hands on training in small groups and live transmissions for nurses to improve their endoscopic skills. Under the supervision of highly experienced tutors, participants will have the opportunity to take part in valuable training using on bio simulators and also have the opportunity to perform endoscopic techniques on colonoscopy as well as ERCP.

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