Our Endoscopy Unit provides specialist screening services for the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of disorders affecting the gastrointestinal tract (the part of the body that takes in food, digests it and expels the remaining waste).

We are a large department with eight theatres and are proud to have been able to maintain our Royal College of Physicians JAG Accreditation consistently for several years. 

This means we have been externally assessed to the high accreditation standards set by JAG, demonstrating we provide safe, high-quality endoscopy, that is delivered by a highly trained and skilled clinical workforce. 

Endoscopy is a procedure where the inside of your body is examined using an endoscope. An endoscope is a long, flexible tube with a light source and a video camera. 

Our experienced team of medical and nursing specialists carry out over 20,000 endoscopy procedures every year. 

Endoscopy is generally delivered as a day case procedure, and performed using local anaesthesia or conscious sedation. 

We also provide inpatient endoscopy services, working with our colleagues on the wards to provide timely care to those patients who need it.

We care for patients undergoing many types of endoscopy procedures, some of which are listed below:

  • Gastroscopy
  • Colonoscopy
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy
  • ESD 
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Endoscopic ultrasound scan (EUS)
  • Capsule endoscopy
  • Thoracoscopy
  • ERCP (Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography)
  • Therapeutic endoscopic procedures
  • Emergency endoscopy procedures.

The Merseyside and North Cheshire Bowel Cancer Screening Programme (BCSP) also provide screening investigations at the Endoscopy Unit. Hosted by LUHFT, the programme covers Liverpool, St Helens, Knowsley, Warrington, Halton, South Sefton, Southport and Formby. You can read more about the programme here.

The Endoscopy Unit is also  involved in recruiting to research studies, and delivers high quality training to medical, surgical and non-medical endoscopists. This is achieved in conjunction with the North West NHS Liverpool Academy. 

The service accepts referrals from the North West region and Isle of Man for ERCP and other complex procedures.

An introduction to our unit

More information

We are able to provide additional support to patients and their loved ones who may need special requirements when attending for an endoscopy appointment. 

Any reasonable adjustment requests will require a discussion with the Nurse Management Team ahead of the scheduled appointment. Patients should make this known when they are first offered their appointment. 

Examples of support can include difficult IV cannulation, learning disabilities support and translation services.

Below is what you can expect to happen when you come for your procedure. Different procedures might need different preparation, and this will be explained to you before your appointment in the form of a written leaflet.

When you attend your appointment, you will be greeted by the reception staff who will check your details are correct.

You will be asked to wait in the waiting room until the clinical team are ready for you. The endoscopy department is very busy. Please note that your visit to the department may take up to four hours.

A member of the clinical team will introduce themselves and invite you to go through the admission documentation in a private room.

You will then be prepared for your procedure. Your observations will be recorded, and you may need to get changed, but this depends on what procedure you need. You need to sign a consent form and will then wait until the team collects you for your procedure.

You will be taken into a procedure room or a theatre where you will meet the endoscopist and the clinical team. Further safety checks will be made before the procedure is carried out. You are then given a final opportunity to ask any questions you may have prior to the procedure starting.

Once your procedure is completed, you will be taken to a recovery area. You will be given sufficient time to recover from your procedure and when you are recovered, you will be escorted to the discharge area and given your discharge information in a private room. If you have had sedation, you will require a responsible adult to escort you from the unit and care for you for 24-hours at home after the procedure. 

The nursing team will also ensure you are provided with written information signposting additional support if you are worried about any after-effects following your procedure.

Patients can be referred to endoscopy from their GP through a two-week wait, urgent or routine referral pathway. The referral pathway determines the length of wait for an endoscopy appointment.

GP’s can also refer patients through the Choose and Book System.

GP’s may refer patients to a gastroenterology clinic. In clinic, patients will be reviewed and assessed for the appropriate diagnostic test and the consultant will then refer patients to endoscopy via a nominated referral pathway.

Patients seen as part of the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme are offered an endoscopy appointment within two weeks of having seen a Specialist Screening Practitioner.

The Endoscopy department is located on the third floor of the Elective Care Centre.