Gastroenterology is the specialty which deals with diseases affecting the gastrointestinal tract, which includes the organs from mouth to anus. At University Hospitals of North Midlands we carry out over 8,000 investigations per year. Use highly specialised investigative methods such as Endoscopy and Ultrasound in the treatment of our patients. We have a Screening Centre for Bowel Cancer, and treat Hepatitis C in our Viral Hepatitis Clinics. We also operate a nutrition service for patients who have nutritional problems or trouble with digestion. We are a Regional Centre for Upper GI (Upper Gastrointestinal) and Hepatobiliary Cancer as well as a specialised centre for liver disease. All accredited by the Joint Advisory Committee.
We specialise in diseases of the gastrointestinal tract including the liver. Our patients are cared for by the dedicated ward team, supported by the wider MDT. We have two consultant teams, one for Gastro, one for Hepatology. Gastro conditions we see regularly are exacerbation of IBD, Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis. Some of these patients require specialist artificial feeding to build them up for surgery and we have recently started a new service to administer TPN (Total Parental Nutrition) on the ward with the support of the CNS Nutrition and dedicated Gastro dieticians.
We also see cancers of the GI tract, gallstones and bile duct stones and acute GI bleeds requiring blood transfusion and endoscopic procedures.
Liver patients generally require more specialised care as they can deteriorate very quickly. Liver conditions include decompensated liver disease associated with alcohol or NASH and the patient may have symptoms such as ascites, hepatic encephalopathy and oesophageal varices that require specialist intervention. We also see patients with liver and pancreatic cancers, liver abscesses and alcoholic hepatitis and alcohol withdrawal.
Liver patients can be very unstable which makes the nursing role very diverse as every day is different due to the challenges within the speciality. We are currently in the process of acquiring level 1 beds for our ward in order to give our most acutely unwell patients improved care and outcomes and we hope our new recruits will rise up to the challenge of working in an environment that is conducive to the learning needs of a registered nurse.
Our patients are cared for by a dedicated ward team, supported by the wider multi-disciplinary team.