Gastroenterology

Gastroenterology

The gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition service cares for children and young people with a wide range of conditions including:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bowel polyps
  • Cholestasis (jaundice)
  • Chronic inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis)
  • Constipation
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Diarrhoea
  • Failure to gain weight/growth
  • Feeding problems
  • Food allergy
  • Gastritis
  • Gastro-oesophageal reflux
  • Gastro-intestinal bleeding
  • Hepatitis
  • Intravenous nutrition
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Oesophagitis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Short bowel syndrome
  • Preparation and follow up of liver transplantation
  • Small bowel transplantation

We are a multidisciplinary team including consultants, clinical nurse specialists, dietitians, clinical psychologists and a physiologist.

We provide services for children admitted to hospital with gastroenterological conditions and we treat children at the request of colleagues in other disciplines and in multidisciplinary outpatient clinics. According to referral pathways, and at the discretion of the gastroenterology consultants, groups of patients are reviewed in specialised multidisciplinary clinics for:

  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Hirschsprung’s disease
  • Chronic hepatitis
  • Coeliac disease
  • Polyposis
  • Endocrinology
  • Surgery

We also have some transitional clinics for patients with inflammatory bowel diseases, liver and pancreatic disease depending on where they are being transitioned too. Investigations and procedures performed by our department are:

  • Endoscopy (oesophago-gastroduodenoscopy (OGD) and colonoscopy)
  • Dilatation
  • Polyp removal
  • Insertion of gastrostomy (percutaneous gastrostomy (PEG) and button)
  • Liver biopsy
  • Imaging
  • Helicobacter pylori test
  • Hydrogen breath test
  • Manometry
  • Intravenous nutrition support at home
  • Oesophageal pH
  • Impedance monitoring

More about stoma care

Our stoma nurses care and support children with varying types of stomas-colostomy, ileostomy, ACE, gastrostomy, and jejunostomy.

Our aim within the department is to provide a high quality service for children with stomas by recognising that the family is the constant in the child’s life and to provide the family with the skills and knowledge to support the child at home and where possible facilitate independent living.

Our services

  • Pre and post counselling
  • Teaching and support to child and family with a newly formed stoma
  • Specialist resource for all professional staff in the trust
  • Teaching within the hospital to nursing staff
  • Teaching at schools and nurseries
  • Literature to assist the parents when at home
  • 24 hour answer machine
  • Resource for community staff to ask advice and seek help with treatments

Appointments

To make an appointment to visit a stoma nurse, please call us on 0151 252 5541 or 0151 293 3683.

Clinical psychology

We know that having a long-term chronic health condition can place a great burden upon young people and their families. It can affect any area of life including attending school, making friends, thinking about the future as well as the way someone feels about themselves. Needing to take daily medications, attending clinic appointments and having overnight stays in hospital can be worrying and stressful too.

As clinical psychologists, we aim to provide support when things related to your child's health condition become tricky to manage. We are also keen to support young people to develop skills and strategies to manage their health so that we can help to prevent further difficulties from emerging.

What is a Clinical Psychologist?

Clinical Psychologists are trained in understanding how people develop, think, feel and behave. We use this knowledge to try to help children, young people and families to cope with and adjust to any difficulties associated with their health condition and the way in which this affects their lives.

What kind of things can we help with?

  • Worries about treatments or procedures
  • Coping with reactions to or memories of a traumatic event, such as a distressing or painful procedure
  • Concerns about appearance or feeling different
  • Dealing with teasing and bullying in relation to a health condition
  • Managing the reactions of others
  • Worries about managing at school or during everyday activities
  • Making decisions about treatment
  • Concerns about the future
  • Coming to terms with and adjusting to diagnosis
  • Parent/family responses and coping

What help may a Clinical Psychologist offer?

We can offer individual appointments to discuss any worries or concerns young people and their families may have in relation to their health condition. We aim to help families and young people to find different ways of managing their difficulties. This may involve individual work with children, young people, with parents/carers or with the family as a whole.

We may also talk (with your consent) to other professionals that you are involved with (e.g. school, GP, children’s services, other medical teams) to ensure we are thinking about all aspects of the young person’s life.

When and where will we be seen?

In some circumstances we can offer appointments on the ward if your child is an inpatient and/or when your child is seen as an outpatient. Most of our appointments take place at Alder Hey but it can sometimes be useful to do home and school visits as well. We try to be as flexible as possible with appointment times.

Do clinical psychologists see children/young people separately from their parents?

Depending on the age and confidence of the child, it can sometimes be helpful to see children separately. Older children and teenagers will usually be offered the chance to be seen on their own. Parents may also be seen separately when necessary.

What about confidentiality?

All information that you share with us is treated confidentially unless we are worried that someone’s safety is at risk. We ask to share some information with other professionals involved with your child to help us provide the best care.

How can I be referred?

You can ask to be referred to clinical psychology by any member of the gastroenterology team. They may then discuss with us whether the referral is appropriate for support from our service. There may be some occasions where we feel that other services would provide more suitable support for the young person or family. A Clinical Psychologist may also be present when you come to outpatient clinics and you can discuss your support needs with them at this time.

Information about referrals

Referrals must be made by the child's GP, or another consultant, using established referral pathways.

We provide special nurse-led telephone access clinics for certain groups of children with chronic problems.

Information for professionals

Our department is active in clinical and experimental research. We are engaged in local and national ethically approved clinical research studies in the following areas:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Coeliac disease
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Chronic hepatitis

Neither you nor your child are obliged to participate in research and our priority is to offer the best available treatment for every child.

Education and training

Our team ethos is to provide training opportunities for all existing job specifications. This includes excellent training opportunities for doctors, dietitians, clinical nurse specialists and secretaries.

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Alder Hey Children's Charity
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