Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

More than 6,000 patients who underwent endoscopy at 18 NHS hospitals since the start of pandemic have been tested and none contracted COVID as a result of the procedure, a study involving clinicians from Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS Foundation Trust has found.

Doctor holding endoscope

Clinicians hope the findings will persuade people that it is safe to attend their endoscopy appointments, which can be crucial in detecting cancer at an early stage. Detecting and treating cancer early is a key part of ongoing successful treatment.    

The findings coincide with a national campaign reminding people that safe cancer care is still available.  A recent survey showed that nearly half the public would delay or not seek medical help at all, with 22 per cent not wanting to burden the health service, and a similar number saying that fear of getting COVID-19 or passing it onto others was a major reason for not getting help.

The study, published in the international gastroenterology and hepatology journal, Gut, was conducted in 18 UK healthcare centres, which included tertiary and local settings serving a broad range of populations.

Data were collected from 6,208 patients undergoing endoscopy at the 18 centres between 30 April and 30 June 2020. Follow-up data on symptoms showed that there were no cases of COVID-19 detected – in the patients or staff - in the two weeks following the procedure.

The study was supported by the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre.

The full story is available on the Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS Foundation Trust website

Similar stories

New evidence for how our brains handle surprise

A new study from the Bruno Group is challenging our perceptions of how the different regions of the cerebral cortex function. A group of ‘quiet’ cells in the somatosensory cortex that rarely respond to touch have been found to react mainly to surprising circumstances. The results suggest their function is not necessarily driven by touch, but may indicate an important and previously unidentified role across all the major cortices.

Language learning difficulties in children linked to brain differences

A new study using MRI has revealed structural brain changes in children with developmental language disorder (DLD), a common but under-recognised difficulty in language learning. Children with DLD aged 10-15 showed reduced levels of myelin in areas of the brain associated with speaking and listening to others, and areas involved in learning new skills. This finding is a significant advance in our understanding of DLD and these brain differences may explain the poorer language outcomes in this group.

New research reveals relationship between particular brain circuits and different aspects of mental wellbeing

Researchers at the University of Oxford have uncovered previously unknown details about how changes in the brain contribute to changes in wellbeing.

Night-time blood pressure assessment is found to be important in diagnosing hypertension

Around 15% of people aged 40-75 may have a form of undiagnosed high blood pressure (hypertension) that occurs only at night-time. Because they do not know about this, and therefore are not being treated for it, they are at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease such as stroke, heart failure, and even death, suggests new research from the University of Oxford published in the British Journal of General Practice.