Medicine Services

Gastroenterology Services

The Gastroenterology Service cares for patients with diseases or disorders of the gut. This involves conditions which might affect the oesophagus, stomach, pancreas, gallbladder, small and large bowel (colon).

We provide these services at the RVI and the Freeman hospitals in Newcastle. 


Conditions we treat

Our patients are referred to us by GPs, or are admitted as emergencies through the Emergency Department.

We see patients with a wide variety of problems relating to the gut, including:

  • Heartburn or oesophagitis and peptic ulcers that affect the stomach or duodenum (the first part of the small bowel)
  • gallstones
  • pancreatitis
  • conditions causing the bowel to become inflamed, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
  • coeliac disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Nutritional problems

You can see a diagram of the gut below, and you can find an explanation of unfamiliar terms in our jargon buster.

Gut image

Investigations and treatment

When patients come to our clinics, we aim to see them as quickly as possible, and make a diagnosis using the most appropriate and effective tests.  Many patients who come to us need investigations to find out about the condition they are suffering from. These investigations might include:

After the tests are completed, we can then provide treatment, refer patients to the most appropriate colleague, or reassure them that there isn’t a serious problem. 

We also investigate patients for possible cancer of the gut such as cancer of the gullet, stomach, pancreas, colon or rectum. Newcastle is one of the centres for the National Bowel Cancer screening programme.  If a cancer is found, it’s likely that we would refer patients to a surgical or cancer specialist. Our surgical colleagues include:

Where will you be seen?

Most of our endoscopy services are provided in our hospitals, with an endoscopy unit at the RVI, and another unit at the Freeman.

Some patients may need to stay in hospital to receive treatment. We have two specialist Gastroenterology wards which specialise in different areas: Ward 48 at the RVI and Ward 16 at the Freeman

Freeman Hospital

At the Freeman we provide a specialist service in investigation and management of problems in the bile duct and pancreas (Dr Oppong and Dr Nayar) – this can involve very specialised endoscopy tests and the Freeman has the largest such service in the UK.  The hospital is also the base for the regional service for patients who require nutrition or feeding given via a vein, called Home Parenteral Nutrition, HPN (Dr Thompson and Dr Mountford). 

RVI

At the RVI Dr Mansfield , with Dr Gunn, Dr Dipper and Dr Hearnshaw, leads the team looking after patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and has a very active research programme, especially into possible genetic causes for these conditions.  Dr Gunn also carries out an advanced tubeless camera test of the small test called capsule endoscopy.  Dr Nylander provides a specialist service for patients with Barrett’s oesophagus, a condition affecting the lower gullet and also leads the local Bowel cancer screening programme.

The gastroenterology service is strongly supported by the nurse specialists, Elaine Stoker and Lesley Jeffrey at the Freeman and Mandy Robinson and Jayne Robertson at the RVI.

You can find out more about the staff working in Gastroenterology on our Meet the Team page.

Research and awards

All of our consultants are involved in research programmes and would be happy to discuss these with patients. There may also be opportunities for patients to get involved in research, so please speak to your consultant about current programmes.

The Northern Nutrition Network – led by the team looking after the HPN (Home Parenteral Nutrition) service at the Freeman Hospital – was awarded the national SAGE award for Gastrointestinal excellence in 2012.  Dr John Mansfield was the winner of the 'Hospital Doctor of the Year Gastroenterologist Award’ in 2007 – the last time the award was given.

More information

Websites

You can get more details about our wards and services:

You can also get more details about gastroenterology conditions:

Contacts

You can get in touch with our consultants in the Gastroenterology section of our Meet the Team page.

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