To improve the information given to patients before endoscopy an audit was performed in 16 of 18 endoscopy units in Northern region. Details of current endoscopy information leaflets provided by the 16 respondents were discussed by nurses and consultants from the participating units, and a standard, including 12 separate items, was agreed. Each unit was provided with a comparison of its current leaflet with the standard, which highlighted areas for potential improvement. Six months later the participating units were again asked to provide details of the information; 13 replied, 11 of which had produced new leaflets and two which were in the process of doing so. In the initial survey only 35% (range 8-67%) of the items in the standard were included in the leaflets. Particular omissions were an indication of risks of procedures (three units), notification of follow up procedures (two), details for obtaining the results of the endoscopy (five), advice for people with diabetes (two) and providing a contact number for the endoscopy unit (four). In the repeat audit all 11 units had made changes to their leaflets and, overall, 80% of the items were included. Through this simple audit the range of information given to patients attending for endoscopy in the region has improved.
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