Gastroenterology (GI Unit)

The Gastroenterology (GI) Unit performs almost 10,000 diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopic procedures each year. In addition, non-endoscopic procedures such as C13 urea breath tests are carried out on a weekly basis. Day case treatments, diagnostic tests and drug infusions are also all performed on a regular basis in the unit.

Please note the GI Unit is not a visiting ward.

Gastroenterology can be divided into five different disciplines: Upper GI, Lower GI, Clinical Nutrition, Hepatology, Pancreaticobiliary.

Upper GI

We provide a specialist service for the treatment of upper GI conditions including:

  • Oesophageal (gullet) problems (e.g hiatus hernia)
  • Stomach problems
  • Duodenal ulcer

Surgical treatments include laparoscopic (key hole) surgery where appropriate.

We are also a dedicated specialist surgical cancer centre for the treatment of upper GI cancer, and provide surgical treatment and specific surgical high dependency nursing for patients who live within the Black Country and Wyre Forest districts. This includes treatment for:

  • Cancer of the stomach
  • Cancer of the oesophagus

Lower GI

A comprehensive emergency and elective colorectal care service is provided. Investigation and treatment for all common colorectal conditions are offered together with a dedicated rapid access lower GI clinic where flexible sigmoidoscopy is carried out at a first visit.

The following conditions are provided for in the service:

  • Emergency bowel conditions (e.g. obstruction, perforation)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (including ileal pouch surgery)
  • Diverticular disease
  • Bowel cancer
  • Haemorrhoids
  • Anal fissure
  • Anal fistula
  • Pilonidal sinus

The Trust has a dedicated full multi-disciplinary team for the management of bowel conditions including gastroenterologists, surgeons, radiotherapists, oncologists, radiologists, pathologists and clinical nurse specialists.

Clinical Nutrition

The Trust has a large and well-resourced team managing clinical nutrition needs both for in-patients and for out-patients, which includes referrals from other areas of the Midlands.
Examples of patients treated are:

  • Malnutrition due to chronic inflammatory bowel disease
  • Intestinal failure due to loss of gut function (e.g after surgery or cancer)
  • Examples of treatments offered are:
  • Nasogastric Feeding tubes
  • Gastric feeding tubes (PEG, percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy)
  • Intravenous feeding (PN, parenteral nutrition)

Hepatology

The trust treats a range of patients with liver disease such as viral hepatitis, autoimmune hepatitis, primary biliary cirrhosis, and alcoholic liver disease. There are specialist nurses supporting patients with viral hepatitis undergoing treatment (who are offered treatments from the full range of antiviral agents, where appropriate), and for patients with alcohol dependency.

Pancreaticobiliary

This includes conditions such as:

  • Gallstones
  • Pancreatitis
  • Pancreatic cancer

There is a range of treatments available at the Trust which include endoscopic interventions such as ERCP (which usually involves removal of stones trapped in the bile duct), endoscopic ultrasound (imaging and treatment of bile duct and pancreatic disease) and surgery (keyhole or open). Patients with potentially curable pancreatic cancer are referred to the local regional referral centre at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Endoscopy

Central to the investigation and treatment of many patients with gastrointestinal disease, endoscopy involves examination of the digestive tract with flexible video-endoscopes. The Trust has a large, modern and well-equipped unit and carries out over 8,000 procedures per year. This includes:

  • Advanced endoscopy such as ERCP and EUS (see pancreaticobiliary section above)
  • Treatment of early cancers by specialised methods (such as endoscopic submucosal dissection and endoscopic mucosal resection)
  • Wireless capsule endoscopy (normally used for examination of the mid-gut or small bowel

GI Unit

The Gastroenterology (GI) Unit consists of a dedicated team of nursing, clerical and portering staff who are committed to providing quality care within a friendly, relaxed, safe and supportive environment.

The majority of endoscopies are booked as outpatient procedures, however ward patients requiring endoscopy are offered appointments in addition to booked lists. Hospitalised patients requiring emergency endoscopy are cared for by an on-call endoscopy team who cover out-of-hours during the week and weekends, providing and delivering a service 365 days a year.

Endoscopic procedures performed in the unit:

  • Gastroscopy
  • Flexible sigmoidscopy
  • Colonoscopy
  • Enteroscopy
  • Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio Pancreatography
  • Endoscopic Ultrasound
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Endo-Bronchial Ultrasound
  • Thoracoscopy
  • Wireless Capsule Endoscopy

Each patient attending the unit is treated as an individual and all GI Unit staff have the highest regard for maintaining patient privacy and dignity at all times.

The GI Unit staff continually strive to ensure that the patient journery is smooth, organised and efficient and, during this process, Essence of Care plays a lead role in the planning, delivery and after-care of all patients attending the unit.

The team works closely with staff and other departments throughout the hospital, in particular specialist nurses such as Colorectal, Upper GI, Nutrition, Inflammatory Bowel and the Dietician team. This allows continuity of care for all patients and their carers requiring specialist advice and support when required.

If English is not your first language, please contact the department before you visit so we can organise for a translator to be present at your appointment.

Key staff

Patient information leaflets

Useful information

This service is available at:
  • Russells Hall Hospital
Where to find us
  • Second floor, west wing, Russells Hall Hospital
Telephone numbers
  • (01384) 456111 (Switchboard)
  • Extension 2390 or 2113 (Booking office)
  • Extension 2731 (Recovery area)

Service details

Clinical directorate
  • Acute Specialist Medicine
Management team
  • Dr Jo Taylor
    Clinical director
  • Dr Neil Fisher (Gastroenterology)/Dr Sharan Shetty (Endoscopic)
    Medical service head
Nursing leads
  • Dawn Powell
    Matron
  • Stephanie Jones
    Lead nurse