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Gastrointestinal physiology

The gastrointestinal (GI) physiology department is based on E level, west wing at Southampton General Hospital.

Opening hours: 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday

Contact: Dr Emma Jones, clinical lead for GI physiology, at emma.jones@uhs.nhs.uk

What we do

GI physiology concerns all parts of the digestive tract from the oesophagus to the anus. We test and measure function, pressure, pH, impedance and tone throughout the GI tract. We use ultrasound to image the anal canal and rectum and treat pelvic floor dysfunction using 'biofeedback' nurse-lead behavioural therapy.

Specialist services

  • Sacral nerve stimulation
  • Botulinum toxin injection for anal fissures
  • Behavioural therapy for pelvic floor disorders
  • Full pelvic floor ultrasound scanning and endoanal ultrasound

Staff roles

  • Specialist nurses
    Specialist nurses perform clinical diagnostic tests on the oesophagus and anorectum. They also treat pelvic floor dysfunction using 'biofeedback' therapy. A relevant nursing qualification with particular experience within GI physiology is needed for this role.
  • Clinical scientists
    The roles of a clinical scientist include performing clinical diagnostic tests on the oesophagus and anorectum, carrying out hydrogen breath testing for small bowel bacterial overgrowth and lactose intolerance, interpreting and reporting test outcomes, and treating pelvic floor dysfunction using 'biofeedback' therapy. They are also involved in the programming of sacral nerve stimulation devices. Clinical scientists must hold a BSc, have obtained an MSc in clinical science through the three-year scientist training programme and be registered with the HCPC.
  • Consultant clinical scientists
    On top of the role of a clinical scientist, the consultant clinical scientist has roles within management, leadership, quality assurance, service evaluation, research and education and training. A consultant clinical scientist will usually hold a PhD.

Training

Within GI physiology, we have trainees who are participating in the scientist training programme (STP) aiming to complete their MSc in clinical science alongside their on-the-job training.

Work experience and volunteering

Nursing and medical students are welcome by prior appointment. For nurses, AHPs and medics, call 023 8120 6704.

Find out more

For more information on being a healthcare scientist in GI physiology, visit these websites: