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 5,500 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 to 75 in our area.
Referrals can be made via E-RS only.
Procedures undertaken in our Unit include the following:
The following non-endoscopic services are also provided:
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:
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 an 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.
Although on the 19 July 2021 regulations around the use of facemasks / coverings and social distancing will change across the country, at Bedfordshire Hospitals all COVID infection prevention control measures currently in place will remain the same.
The Trust has decided it is currently not safe to lift all restrictions at our hospitals.
Everyone attending our sites will still be required to wear a facemask (unless medically exempt), adhere to social distancing and attend your appointments alone especially in our Emergency Departments and Outpatients (exclusions apply to our paediatric patients and those requiring carer support)
Visiting is now permitted on most of our adult inpatient wards in a controlled manner. Appointments need to be pre-booked with ward staff.
Full details about attending our hospitals and visiting is available here.