If you are unable to make your initial appointment or have any concerns please contact the appointments office 020 7813 8880 (Direct Line) or the consultant’s secretary to negotiate a date that suits you.
You will receive details from the Appointments Centre on where to attend and at what time. Appointment times are staggered so please do try and keep to your time slot.
A typical allocation of time is 20-25 minutes for new patients and 15 minutes for subsequent visits. It is important that you are not late so that your consultation isn’t shortened.
The Gastroenterology department provides the following clinics:
- inflammatory bowel disease
- intestinal failure and parenteral nutrition
- gut motility disorders
- combined GI and immunology clinic
- cystic fibrosis gastroenterology clinic
- Shwachman-diamond syndrome
- adolescent clinic
Once in clinic your child will be registered and a set of measurements, including height and weight, will be recorded for your child. Please allow yourself adequate time for this before your appointment with the clinician.
During your child's time under the gastroenterology speciality it may be necessary for your child to be admitted to one of the gastroenterology Wards – Kingfisher Ward or Rainforest Ward. Once a decision has been made to admit your child for investigation, s/he will be put on a waiting list to be admitted. This is your opportunity to inform us of any outstanding commitments you may have and any dates that need to be avoided, such as holiday dates.
There are varying waiting times for the different tests that are undertaken. Waiting lists are arranged so that those children deemed to be most in need are given a higher priority. Tests that are out of the control of the Gastroenterology Department such as ultrasound scans, X-rays, MRI scans or other speciality referrals, may necessitate you being given separate appointments. While every effort will be made to avoid inconveniencing you, there are some constraints which cannot be avoided. You will always receive written notification of any planned admission dates.
If your child is to be admitted for an endoscopy, you will be phoned by the endoscopy admissions nurse to check that the date you are being offered is suitable and to take a brief medical history to check on suitability for the various forms of sedation available (this will have been done in a less formal manner at your outpatients appointment). You will also have the opportunity to ask questions about the admission and the investigation.
Whilst awaiting admission for investigations and whilst awaiting clinical follow up your child will remain the clinical responsibility of your general practitioner and your local referring paediatrician, in addition to the medical team at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Kingfisher Ward is a day unit open from Monday through until Friday, and is based in the Octav Botnar Building. It is run by a team of specialised clinical nurses who undertake extended roles, traditionally associated with doctors.
Find out more about Kingfisher Ward by watching our short video below.
. A video transcript is also available.
Admission to Kingfisher Ward is usually to have a short investigative procedure performed either as day case investigations, or a longer admission of no longer than five days, depending on the diagnosis and tests required.
During your child's time on Kingfisher Ward his/her care will be managed by the supporting Gastroenterology Team. This may include the specialist registrars, specialist trainees, ward nursing staff, clinical nurse specialists and senior dietitians.
The practicalities surrounding your admission will be arranged by the ward admissions team, with direct liaison with yourselves as necessary.
Your consultant, and commonly the endoscopy pre-admissions nurse, will have discussed the tests with you prior to the admission providing reasoning behind what is being looked for.
It is not routine for your child to see his/her consultant during the admission unless this is necessary on clinical grounds.
As a unit, we complete more than 1380 endoscopies per year as well as other gastroenterological investigations including:
- Manometries - tests measuring the pressures in the gastro intestinal system
- pH Impedance studies - testing acid and alkaline reflux in the oesophagus
- Video capsule endoscopies (VCE): a small jelly bean sized camera which is swallowed or placed into the stomach which takes and transmits pictures/video of the gut as it moves through.
- EGGs: records the electrical signals that travel through the stomach muscles and control the muscles' contractions
A consultant will always be present during the endoscopies, although this will not always be your child’s consultant. If you have specific issues to raise with your consultant, we will endeavour to accommodate this.
Rainforest Ward is the long stay gastroenterology ward, accommodating children who need to remain in hospital for periods of over a week.
Find out more about Rainforest Ward by watching our short video below.
. A video transcript is also available.
A referral for an admission on Rainforest Ward is indicative of a longer plan of proposed investigation, assessment and monitoring.
There is a waiting time for admissions to the ward, with children prioritised according to their needs.
Your child's day-to-day care will be managed by the supporting gastroenterology team (specialist registrars, clinical nurse specialists, etc).
Prior to admission the team will meet to discuss and plan the admission and you will be consulted with the proposed care pathway, including the estimated duration of the admission.
Your named consultant will usually review matters with you in the first few days following admission, although the day to day running of the ward involves all the gastroenterology consultants in rotation.
Your consultant, as well as the ‘on service consultant’ will be regularly involved in your child's inpatient management by way of the weekly ‘grand round’.
If you wish to see your child's consultant at any other time to discuss events please let a member of the team know and a separate meeting can be arranged at a mutually convenient time and date.
Following your admission, you will be invited to return for an outpatient review, to discuss investigation results and to plan the management of your child's care. We realise that you will be understandably anxious to receive results but please do try not to contact the hospital for results before your appointment.
The nature of gastroenterology testing is such that the results are not immediately available and need to be compiled over a period of time, and interpreted in the presence of other investigations at clinical review in the outpatient clinic.
Requesting results over the phone may lead to inaccuracies, potential breaches of patient confidentiality and at worst to misjudgements with regards to treatment.
Staff are not permitted to give results over the phone. One-off results may also be misleading as they can be out of context.
At your follow up visit you will be seen by one of the team of gastroenterology doctors. This is usually your named consultant but on occasions, and at the request of your named consultant, it could be with one of the registrars. All patients are discussed by the consultant attending the clinic.