North Tees gastroenterologist appointed chair of national body

A gastroenterologist from North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust has been appointed chair of the national body that oversees the quality of endoscopy.

Renowned consultant Professor Matt Rutter will serve as chair of the Joint Advisory Group (JAG) for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.

Professor Matt Rutter - Chair of JAG (

The JAG oversees training for endoscopy in the UK, and carries out accreditation visits of endoscopy centres, averaging more than 500 assessments every year.

Matt’s history with the JAG includes leading regional training courses and accreditation visits to various hospitals and setting up and running its National Endoscopy Database.

Matt, who qualified as a consultant gastroenterologist in 2003, said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as the next chair of JAG.

“Throughout my career, JAG has been pivotal in the modernisation of UK endoscopy services and endoscopy training. Despite the many challenges that our specialty faces, both new and old, the UK’s multidisciplinary endoscopy community remains its strongest asset. I look forward to working with the JAG team and the endoscopy community at large to help us overcome these challenges and to continue to evolve our services to deliver the highest quality care for our patients and population.”

With more than two million endoscopies carried out in the UK every year, Matt is keen to ensure all practitioners and departments are fit for purpose. He commented: “Previously, I ran the JAG’s National Endoscopy Database which draws information and statistics from every single procedure. It’s a vital tool to learn more about our discipline to help improve standards and develop new training methods.

“Ultimately this is all for the benefit of patients.”

Matt lists his key aims as chair of the JAG as:

• Improve professionalism within the endoscopy field, moving from a minority specialism to a key part of healthcare
• To continually improve endoscopy practice in the UK
• Review and streamline JAG process to ensure they are suitable for the current medical environment

“The whole Trust wishes Matt all the best in his new role”, said medical director Deepak Dwarakanath. “He’s a fantastic specialist and our patients can only benefit from him adding the chair of the JAG to his portfolio.”

Endoscopy is a flagship service at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, a true speciality of the Teesside-based healthcare provider. Other accolades for the Trust endoscopy team include it being the region’s Bowel Cancer Screening Centre, Dr Chris Wells serving as clinical lead for the Northern Endoscopy Training Academy and Dr. Vikram Mitra leading one of only two JAG accredited training courses in endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (an endoscopic procedure of the bile ducts and pancreas.)

Matt, who qualified as a doctor in 1993 and has worked for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust since 1994 is proud to represent the Trust at this national level. “We’re at the forefront of endoscopy in the UK.” he said.

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