What is NREG and why was it established?
The Northern Region Endoscopy Group (NREG), formed in 2007, is an endoscopy research network covering the area stretching from the Scottish Borders down to North Yorkshire and across to the western border of County Durham and northern Cumbria. NREG comprises all seventeen endoscopy units in the nine NHS Trusts within the region and represents the 300 endoscopists including gastroenterologists, surgeons and nurses who work in these units.
The total population served by the network is 3.5 million and just under 100,000 endoscopic procedures are performed in the region each year, comprising 45,000 upper gastrointestinal endoscopies, 28,000 colonoscopies, 18,000 flexible sigmoidoscopies and 3000 endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatographies (ERCPs).
The Northern region has a long history of close collaboration in endoscopy particularly with regard to endoscopy teaching. The region has had low endoscopy waiting times for many years and was the country?s first region to have entire coverage by bowel cancer screening. This background of a well organised service coupled with a history of working together provided the ideal opportunity for regional endoscopists to take endoscopy on to the next level by undertaking collaborative research.