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What is Direct Access Endoscopy?

Direct Access Endoscopy (DAE), also known as ‘Open-Access Endoscopy’ or ‘Straight to Test’, allows adult patients, who meet the criteria, to be referred for an endoscopic procedure without the need for an initial consultation with a gastroenterologist.

The patient may also have had a previous endoscopy test and require a repeat or follow-up surveillance procedure. These patients may wish to proceed straight to the endoscopy test without another consultation visit.

Please note: only healthcare professionals should complete this form. If you're a patient needing a referral for a private upper GI endoscopy, please ask your GP to complete this form.

What are the benefits of Direct Access Endoscopy?

Direct Access Endoscopy can reduce wait time and cost for the patient, speed up discharge from the hospital and ensure faster diagnosis of oesophageal or gastric cancer.

I have a question about making a Direct Access Endoscopy referral

How do I refer the patient for Direct Access Endoscopy?

Please read the Direct Access Endoscopy eligibility guidelines and complete the Direct Access Endoscopy referral form.

If you have any questions regarding the form, please contact

Can I refer NHS patients or Benenden Health members for Direct Access Endoscopy?

At this time, only self-paying patients can be referred by their GP or health care professional for Direct Access Endoscopy.

Is the patient suitable for Direct Access Endoscopy?

The procedure is restricted to low-risk private patients; those without conditions that place them at increased risk of anaesthetic or procedural complications. These include medical comorbidities, increased risks, or unclear indications for scopes.

If your patient does not meet the established criteria, or you are unsure, we recommend that you refer your patient for a pre-procedure consultation where these risks can be better assessed.

Please read the Direct Access Endoscopy eligibility guidelines before you complete the referral form.

What happens after I submit the Direct Access Endoscopy referral form?

Once we’ve received the referral form, our clinical triage team will also judge the patient’s suitability for a direct endoscopy appointment and will contact them with next steps.

Can the patient self-refer for direct endoscopy?

No, patients must have a referral from a GP or other health care professional.

How should the patient prepare for an endoscopy?

Information on how to prepare for an upper GI endoscopy is available on our gastroscopy treatment page.

What happens during an upper GI endoscopy?

When the patient first arrives, they’ll be checked into the ACU, have their blood pressure taken and a member of clinical staff will answer any questions they may have. The Consultant carrying out the endoscopy will run through the procedure, telling the patient what to expect, as well as the risks and benefits.

The procedure usually takes place when the patient is awake. The patient may be offered something to make them more comfortable and make the test easier, such as:

  • Local anaesthetic spray – to numb the back of the mouth and inside of the throat
  • Sedation – medicine given through an intravenous needle in the arm to help them relax and stay comfortable

The sedative may send the patient into a light sleep, known as conscious sedation.

The Consultant then carefully passes the endoscope down the patient’s oesophagus and into their stomach and duodenum. A small camera mounted on the endoscope sends a video image to a monitor, allowing close examination of the lining of the upper GI tract.

The upper GI endoscopy takes between 15-30 minutes.

What should the patient expect during recovery from an upper GI endoscopy?

Information on what to expect following the procedure can be found on our gastroscopy treatment page.