Medicine Services

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

The Gastroenterology and Colorectal Service cares for patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). 

Although IBD is not curable, our aim is to help patients lead as normal a life as possible, and not be held back by the condition or the treatments required.

We provide our comprehensive services for patients with IBD at the RVI and the Freeman hospitals in Newcastle. 

Conditions we treat

IBD is a disease or disorder of the gut and includes conditions such as:

  • Crohns disease: this can affect any part of the gut including the mouth, oesophagus, stomach, small and large bowel (colon), and the area around the anus.
  • Ulcerative colitis: this only affects the large bowel (colon).

These conditions can affect men and women of almost any age - from children to older adults. They affect around 1 in 500 people in the North East.

Patients may need medical and/or surgical treatment for IBD, so may be looked after by a physician or a surgeon who work closely together to provide the best combination of treatment.

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

Image of the gut

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:

Patients with IBD often require drugs to control the inflammation, these include steroids in the short-term but can include drugs called ‘immunosuppressants’ such as Azathioprine, Methotrexate, Cyclosporin, Mycophenalate, Adalumimab and Infliximab. 

Who you might see

When patients come for treatment at either the RVI or Freeman, they may see:

  • physicians (gastroenterologists) who specialise in treating patients with IBD - find out more about our Gastroenterology Team
  • colorectal surgical specialists – find out more about our surgeons
  • Nurse Specialists: Mandy Robinson at the RVI and Elaine Stoker at the Freeman
  • a dietician
  • a stoma nurse specialist
  • a clinical psychologist who patients can be referred to if necessary.

Our patients are referred to us by GPs or are admitted as emergencies through the Emergency Department. Patients are also referred to us by hospitals around the North East.  

Where will you be seen?

Patients with IBD may be seen in clinics at the RVI or the Freeman hospitals.

Most treatment will be given as outpatients, but some patients may need to stay in hospital to receive treatment. We have two specialist Gastroenterology wards which specialise in different areas:

Patients who need an operation come to:

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

Research and awards

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

At the RVI, Dr John Mansfield leads the research team especially looking at whether and how genetic factors affect the development of IBD. He is also involved in clinical trials looking at new treatments for IBD. For more information on research, please contact:

  • Research Nurse, Maria Price
  • Tel: 0191 282 0135.

More information


Newcastle Hospitals website

You can get more details about our wards and services:

You can get some information about medications involved in IBD:

  • Cyclosporin for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Mycophenolate Mofetil (MMF)
  • Information leaflets on the Crohn's and Colitis UK website
  • Adalimumab information on Crohn's and Colitis UK.pdf
  • Infliximab information on Crohn's and Colitis UK.pdf
  • Methotrexate information on Crohn's and Colitis UK.pdf
  • Azathioprine and mercaptopurine information on Crohn's and Colitis UK.pdf

    External websites

    You can also get more details about gastroenterology conditions from these organisations:

    IBD Patient Panel Group

    We hold regular meetings to discuss our IBD service and how we could improve it. We meet twice a year and have over 70 patients involved - we are always looking for new members. To get involved, please contact:

    Alternatively, you can complete and return a registration slip.pdf

    You can also get more information about the Hadrian Crohn’s and Colitis support group.


    We produce a newsletter for people with IBD and their families:

    Radar Keys

    If you think you might need access to disabled toilets in the region, then you can get a special Radar Key from Disability North.

    For healthcare professionals

    We have a shared care document to allow primary care follow-up of patients with proctitis. Healthcare professionals can access these ulcerative proctitis management guidelines.pdf.


    For more details about IBD services, you can get in touch with our consultants in the Gastroenterology section of our Meet the Team page. You can also find out about all the members of the IBD team.pdf

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