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Referral Process

Referrals can be made via E-RS only. 

Patient Information Leaflets

The Gastroenterology department provides an extensive range of services covering all areas of gastroenterology and hepatology, including the following: Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Hepatology, Nutrition, Investigation of suspected GI cancer, Functional GI Disorders, Dyspesia including Open Access Endoscopy Service. The department works closely with colleagues in General Surgery in order to provide seamless care for patients with gastrointestinal cancer and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). We also have close links with Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge for patients requiring tertiary care for Liver Disease.

The endoscopy department is renowned for its efficiency and undertakes over 5500 procedures per year. Waiting times for any procedure have been amongst the lowest in Eastern England historically and are currently between two and six weeks. We work closely with the GI surgeons and patients who are found to have cancer at endoscopy are referred immediately to the appropriate surgical team, nurse specialist and MDT. In addition, the L&D team is part of the Bowel Cancer Screening service for Bedfordshire which covers all those aged 60-75 in our area.


General Gastroenterology


Procedures Provided

Procedures undertaken in our Unit include the following:

  • Diagnostic Upper GI Endoscopy
  • Therapeutic Upper GI Endoscopy
  • Therapy of GI bleeds
  • Banding of varices
  • Dilatation of oesophagus or pylorus
  • Oesophageal and pyloric stent insertion
  • Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy (PEG) insertion
  • Diagnostic Colonoscopy
  • Therapeutic Colonoscopy
  • Polypectomy
  • Stricture dilatation
  • Ablation of vascular lesions
  • Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

 The following non-endoscopic services are also provided:

  • Oesophageal manometry and pH studies
  • Urea breath testing for H pylori
  • Hydrogen breath test for bacterial overgrowth or lactase deficiency

 We aim to manage all patients as efficiently as possible. Where it is obvious that a  patient requires investigation from the referral letter  this will be arranged before the patient is seen in clinic. For example:

  • Patients with a confirmed significant iron deficiency anaemia may be sent for gastroscopy with duodenal biopsies and colonoscopy directly.
  • Patients with suspected inflammatory bowel disease may be brought up for flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy initially.
  • Patients with suspected GI cancer with alarm symptoms, may be brought up for the relevant investigation before being seen in out-patients. This ensures that waiting times for investigation are kept to a minimum and diagnoses are made as rapidly as possible.

Stable patients with coeliac disease are referred back to their GP with guidance on what is required in terms of follow-up.

Patients with inflammatory bowel disease are provided with self-management plans that should allow them to manage minor flare-ups in the community, but also have a contact card so they can be seen urgently in clinic if they are having problems. The self-management plans include advice on disease monitoring and if patients require colonoscopic follow-up they are contacted to arrange this at the appropriate time. The  Gastroenterology  department  has  systems  in  place  to  ensure  that  patients requiring endoscopic follow-up (such as those with Barrett’s oesophagus and colonic polyps) are contacted to arrange this in a timely fashion.

Clinicians - Consultants/Specialist Nurses

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Useful numbers/contacts - All staff can be contacted via switchboard

Business Manager:
Sue Etherington
01582 718397

Clinic Reception Tel no:
01582 497225

General Manager:
Jenny Cadman
01582 718227

IBD Specialist Nurses:
Tracey Price 01582 718368
Karen Lithgo 01582 718368
Susan Nanton 01582 718368

Clinical Director:
Dr Anthony Griffiths

Outpatients booking department:
01582 561385

01582 491166