Endoscopy waiting list three-times the pre-pandemic figure

The target time for endoscopies is eight weeks. Credit: ITV Channel Television

Around 450 patients are currently on the waiting list for an endoscopy or colonoscopy in Guernsey which is three-times the pre-pandemic figures.

Currently, there is not a full-time gastroenterologist on-island which means Guernsey's Health Committee is seeking an off-island provider to help clear the backlog.

The target time for endoscopies is eight weeks but for some patients, the waiting time has been up to eighteen months.

Gastroenterology treats problems in the digestive system including the gallbladder, liver and pancreas.

Endoscopies and colonoscopies inspect the stomach and bowel to help diagnose disorders including inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn's disease and bowel cancer.

Neda waited a year for her endoscopy. Credit: ITV Channel Television

Neda Borhani-Chick has had Crohn's disease for 30 years and waited a year for an endoscopy in Guernsey.

She says: "It's very frustrating because you just want to be seen and found out because you're suffering the pain and the discomfort.

"Anyone newly diagnosed is having to wait a year to 18 months to see anybody and a few people I know have gone off island and paid privately because they just can't wait."

Guernsey's Medical Specialist Group are seeking an off-island locum to help tackle the backlog. Credit: ITV Channel Television

For the new chair of the Medical Specialist Group, prioritising the patients on a scale of urgency is vital to tackling the long waiting list.

Steve Evans says: "There is a very small risk, and that is difficult to quantify, that we may miss some diagnoses.

"But we are doing our best to reduce the backlog and we do understand the stress and anxiety this may be causing to patients."

HSC is still seeking an off-island provider to run endoscopy clinics at the weekend as a way of reducing waiting times.