Endoscopy services to be restored

Funding to reduce backlog.

The next step in safely remobilising important NHS services will see a £7.8 million investment to address the patient backlog for endoscopies.

Using new technologies and additional capacity, the backlog will be steadily reduced with patients seen on the basis of clinically determined priority.

The NHS Golden Jubilee Hospital, mobile endoscopy units and commissioning of the private sector will all provide additional capacity.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said:

“There’s no question that stopping endoscopy services for all cases except emergencies was a difficult decision to take.  But it was necessary so we could deal with the challenge of Covid-19.

“I’m pleased that as we continue to see positive results in dealing with the virus we can now move to treat the many patients who have been waiting, and we will do that safely and sustainably.

“Patient safety always comes first. 

“So as we steadily re-mobilise our NHS, your experience as a patient will be a bit different, and it will take us longer than before to see people as we maintain our vigilance against the virus with important additional safety measures.”


Endoscopic services for all but emergency and essential procedures were paused because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

An endoscopy is a procedure that uses an endoscope, an instrument with a light and a lens for viewing, to examine the inside of the body.

Emergency endoscopic procedures have continued, and health boards have recently resumed endoscopy for patients with a suspicion of cancer and for cancer screening colonoscopies, where clinically safe to do so.

More detail on Health Boards mobilisation plans can be read online.

You can read Re-mobilise, Recover, Re-design, The Framework for NHS Scotland online.

You can also read COVID-19: Scotland’s route map for transitioning through and out of the crisis online.

There are currently 19,000 patients recorded as waiting for a diagnostic endoscopy.


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