A Clinician’s Guide: Caring for people with gastrostomy tubes and devices


The Guidelines are a practical resource for clinicians to assist them in providing standardised care for children and adults who have a gastrostomy tube or device.


The Guidelines provide a practical, evidence-based approach to the care of patients with gastrostomy tubes and devices in NSW.


The ACI established an expert multidisciplinary working group to provide professional insight into the development of the guidelines. Membership of this group was later widened to include members from the Gastroenterological Nurses College of Australia (GENCA).

The aims of the project were to:

  • Develop guidelines for the insertion, care, replacement and removal of gastrostomy feeding tubes and devices;
  • Develop practical guidelines that can be implemented across the health system;
  • Identify and address the key elements of the patient journey
  • Consider options for educational resources to support the guidelines;

An evidence check review was conducted to critically appraise and summarise existing evidence relating to specific areas of gastrostomy care.

Drafts of the guidelines were circulated to key stakeholders for two consultation rounds in February and May 2014

The Guidelines were launched in December 2014.

To support implementation, the ACI Nutrition and Gastroenterology Networks will host education days for clinicians on gastrostomy care in two metropolitan and four regional areas of NSW in 2015.


In 2012, the ACI received a request from the NSW Ombudsman about the existence of state guidelines related to gastrostomy tubes and devices.

  • The  Gastroenterology and Nutrition Networks advised that there were no statewide guidelines for the insertion, management and ongoing care of gastrostomy feeding tubes and devices.
  • The NSW Director General endorsed the development of statewide guidelines by the ACI. The development of these guidelines was undertaken as a joint project by the ACI and GENCA.
  • An expert multi-disciplinary working group was established to develop these Guidelines. It included gastroenterologists, clinical nurse consultants, clinical nurse specialists, nurse unit managers, dietitians and speech pathologists.

Key Dates

Pilot Sites

Implementation Sites


Evaluation will include:

  • Staff surveys and focus groups
  • Consumer focus groups
  • Review of data on procedures, re-admissions and incidents

Further Details

The Guidelines are available on the ACI website.


Lyn Farthing
Gastroenterology Network Manager
02 9464 4646

Daniel Comerford
Director, Acute Care
02 9464 4602

Page Top | Added: 8 November 2013 | Last modified: 13 July 2015

Lyn Farthing
Gastroenterology Network Manager
02 9464 4646