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About the Service

The Hepatology Service at ASPH comprises of one hepatologist, one consultant with an interest in hepatobiliary medicine and an alcohol liaison nurse. We run clinics for viral hepatitis, autoimmune liver disease, liver cirrhosis, vascular liver disease and alcohol-related liver disease and manage all aspects of metabolic liver disease including non-alcohol fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and haemochromatosis.

The team works with the ambulatory emergency care unit to provide day-case paracentesis and with the haematology day unit to provide venesection for patients with haemochromatosis. Patients with non-alcohol related fatty liver disease who would benefit from bariatric assessment are referred to the regional bariatric service based at Ashford and St Peter’s. The endoscopy unit is based at St Peter’s Hospital, with diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy services provided along with non-invasive liver stiffness assessment by fibroscan. The radiology department provides a range of diagnostic and therapeutic investigations for patients with liver disease.

We work closely with our regional partners (including the hepatobiliary cancer service the Royal Surrey County Hospital) along with the tertiary liver units at the Royal Free and King’s College Hospitals. Viral hepatitis nurses from the regional operational delivery hub (at the Royal Surrey County Hospital) help support provision of treatment for hepatitis C at both Ashford and St Peter’s Hospital.

  • Inpatient and outpatient services are provided for patients with liver disease (including alcohol related liver disease, non-alcohol related fatty liver disease, autoimmune liver disease and viral hepatitis)
  • The emergency department and acute medical department accept acute admissions with decompensated liver disease, new onset jaundice and acute hepatitis where appropriate
  • The ambulatory emergency care unit facilitates elective day case paracentesis
  • There is provision for ERCP and EUS at ASPH
  • Patients with Hepatitis C (and those eligible for second line treatments for primary biliary cholangitis) are reviewed at regional ODN network MDT at the Royal Surrey County Hospital.
  • HCV treatment is provided by a viral hepatitis nurse at RSCH
  • The regional HCC/MDT occurs at the RSCH (for non-transplant eligible patients)
  • Patients with refractory portal hypertension related bleeding or needing liver transplant assessment are referred to the Royal Free or King’s College Hospital
  • Patients awaiting transplant assessment and some stable post-transplant patients are seen at ASPH


Facilities

  • Fibroscan is provided in the endoscopy department with a trained nurse providing fibroscan along with supporting gastrointestinal physiology services
  • Radiology support is available including interventional radiology for transjugular liver biopsies and therapeutic paracentesis
  • Intensive care beds are located at St Peter’s Hospital (15 beds), with daily consultant cover, along with a nurse led outreach service
  • Inpatients are based on May ward a 23 bed ward
  • The alcohol liaison nurse works closely with community alcohol service providers (Surrey and Borders Partnership- iAccess)
  • A new Clinical Assessment Unit has been opened with a co-located Ambulatory Emergency Care Unit


What to do in an emergency?

If the problem is urgent, patients should contact their GP / out-of-hours service, ring 111 or go to the NHS England website.


Do you have a patient panel?

Unfortunately at this moment in time, we do not. Going forwards, this may be something we may look into to support the development of the Hepatology service at ASPH.


Patient information and resources

You might find the following websites useful for information and advice. Please note that ASPH is not responsible for the content or updating of these sites.

Azathioprine Azathioprine is a type of medicine called an immunosuppressant. Immunosuppressants help "calm" (or control) your body's immune system.
Alcohol Change UK A charity promoting alcohol change, working towards improved knowledge, better policies and regulation, shifted cultural norms, improved drinking behaviours, and more and better support and treatment.
British Liver Trust The UK's leading liver health charity.
Love Your Liver A British Liver Trust national awareness campaign devoted to liver health awareness and giving people the key steps needed to keep their liver healthy.
NHS: BMI healthy weight calculator Use the calculator on the NHS website to check your body mass index and find out if you are a healthy weight.
The Wellness Toolbox - Cirrhosis Providing nutrition and exercise resources to help you stay healthy when living with cirrhosis.

 

Haemochromatosis

Haemochromatosis UK Helping people live with iron overload.

 

Hepatitis

UK-AIH UK-AIH is a research collaboration with a shared interest in understanding and treating the autoimmune liver disease autoimmune hepatitis.
The Hepatitis B Positive Trust UK Aiming to end the silence around hepatitis B infections and draw together people with hepatitis B to give them a collective voice and the ability to support each other.
The Hepatitis C Trust Raising public awareness of the virus, ending discrimination about people with hepatitis C, and creating an active community of patients.

 

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

NHS: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease Find information about non-alcoholic fatty liver disease on the NHS website.

 

Pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic Cancer UK Providing expert support and information, funding research and campaigning for change.

 

Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC)

PBC Foundation A charity offering support to PBC sufferers, their family and friends.
PSC Support Helping anyone affected by PSC and driving research towards a cure.

 

Wilson's disease

Wilson's Disease Support Group UK Support, education and outreach for people living with Wilson's disease, their family and friends.