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The unit is staffed by a multidisciplinary team that includes physicians, surgeons, highly specialised dieticians, nurses, and pharmacists who offer a comprehensive approach to IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease), Nutrition and Intestinal Failure, Psychological Medicine, Oesophageal, Gastric and Hepatobilliary Diseases, Endoscopy and Stoma Care

  • Nutrition and Intestinal Failure: With the opening of a new NSCAG-approved Intestinal Failure Unit, 'The Lennard-Jones IF Unit', St Mark's is committed to enlarging its role as one of two national referral centres for patients with intestinal failure (IF). The aims are to reduce the severity of intestinal failure, to increase patient confidence through enhanced education & support and to provide national and international leadership & role modelling, in clinical care, research and teaching.  Last year the unit dealt with 85 referrals of patients with IF. The unit is staffed by a multidisciplinary team that includes physicians, surgeons, medical and surgical registrars, and highly specialised dieticians, nurses, and pharmacists.  These teams offer a comprehensive approach to malnourished patients receiving parenteral nutrition or enteral nutrition. These forms of therapy are dependant on a specialised service to achieve successful outcomes.

  • Psychological Medicine: The Psychological Medicine Unit (PMU) was developed to offer psychological support to patients with chronic illness whilst receiving treatment at St Mark's. The new Unit offers an attractive, confidential, and comfortable work setting. Each year the Unit deals with 200 referrals for psychological difficulties in patients with chronic gastrointestinal diseases or symptoms pertaining to the gastrointestinal tract. The Unit also has a substantial commitment to teaching and supervision both of St Mark's Hospital Staff and externally. The Unit also has an active research interest.

  • Oesophageal, Gastric and Hepatobilliary Diseases: St Mark's is closely involved with its parent hospital Northwick Park Hospital and some gastroenterology services are offered cross-site. The gastroenterology unit offers diagnostic tests and treatments for oesophageal, gastric and other intestinal diseases not covered by the more specialised services at St Mark's. Diagnostic testing and therapy for liver diseases are provided by the gastroenterology team.

  • Biofeedback: This is a nurse-led service. A team of specialist nurses and physiotherapists manage patients with a range of functional gastrointestinal disorders, including faecal incontinence and constipation as the two largest groups. We have 700-800 new referrals each year and 70-80% of patients report improved symptoms, with lasting effect for the majority (Chiotakakou-Faliakou 1998; Norton & Kamm 1999). The nurses and physiotherapists work within a multidisciplinary team and patients can be discussed with, or referred to a gastroenterologist, colorectal surgeon, counsellor, psychologist, psychotherapist, dietician and other nurse specialists if indicated.

  • Endoscopy: The Wolfson Unit for Endoscopy was established in 1996 as a National centre for endoscopy. In 2005 the Unit was awarded National Training Status and in 2007 was recognised as a World Centre of Excellence by the World Organization of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and the only Centre in the UK to be recognised in this way. A full range of therapeutic procedures is performed in the Unit, one of the best equipped in the world. Highly specialised teams of endoscopists and endoscopy technicians utilise state-of-the-art instruments and accessories, allowing them to deliver a world class endoscopy service to local, national and international patients. The Wolfson Unit has long been known for colonoscopy, gastroscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy and advanced polypectomy but it also offers the full range of endoscopic procedures including capsule enteroscopy, double balloon enteroscopy and ERCP. Furthermore, it is now well established as one of the premier Bowel Cancer Screening units in London.

  • Stoma Care: The Stoma Care department at St Mark's and Northwick Park Hospital provides specialist nursing care to patients with a stoma, ileo-anal pouch or enterocutaneous fistula. A number of these patients have intestinal failure and require specialist nursing input to manage their complex abdominal wounds and appliances. Patients are seen in a variety of settings including the ward, surgical out-patient clinics, nurse-led clinics and home visits for local patients. The department will take referrals from patients, stoma care nurses or the medical profession. The department runs a number of in-house study days for ward nurses in the management of patients with a stoma, ileo anal pouch or fistula as well as external days such as the Community Nurse Study Day and Ileo Anal Pouch Study Day.

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