Bristol CCG

Provided by Prime Endoscopy Bristol (the 50/50 joint venture with Gastro Prime LLP). A dedicated system called EMS is used to administrate the service.


Community Gastroenterology



Prime Endoscopy Bristol was established in 2010 to provide diagnostic endoscopy services and gastroenterology clinics in a community setting.  

We know that patients like being treated in a community setting and being treated holistically. We are also aware that GPs appreciate a 'one stop' service that includes a management plan for the patient on discharge.

Opening hours:                                   Monday to Friday 08.00 - 18.00


Contact Details

Prime Endoscopy Bristol

Westbury on Trym Primary Care Centre

Westbury Hill

Westbury on Trym

Bristol BS9 3AA                                     Telephone:    0117 962 1365

Operations Director

Stuart Sedgwick-Taylor                          Mobile:         07775 420019

Administration Team

Rachel Jordan;   Stacey Flower;  Tracey Cooper;   Elaine Bennett

Senior Nurses

Fran Sherman;  Lois Penketh-King


Dr Mike Cohen - mobile: 07778 313141

Dr John Entrican  

Dr Richard Spence  

Dr Jon Shufflebotham

Karen Holbrook

GPwSI Clinic

Dr Michael Sproat

Services offered

Direct access via choose and book for patients over 18 years.

  • Community Gastroenterology  Clinics

New patients are booked at 30 minute intervals. Follow up patients at 15 minutes. The emphasis is on a one stop referral, either discharging to the GP with a management plan or proceeding to endoscopy if clinically indicated.

Exclusions – liver or pancreatic disease.   

  • Transnasal endoscopy

We are using fine bore endoscopes which can be passed with local anaesthetic via the nose into the upper GI tract. We can take biopsies including duodenal biopsies for coeliac disease diagnosis

  • Gastroscopy

Via the oral route if patients prefer this route or transnasal route is not possible

  • Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

This allows inspection of the left side of the colon. This test does not require sedation but patients may elect to have this.  We offer nitrous oxide which facilitates rapid short-acting analgesia to make the procedure more comfortable.

Patients are given oral bowel prep with Citramag and senna.

Flexible sigmoidoscopy is the preferred procedure for patients with bright rectal bleeding. Although one is just examining the left side of the colon much useful clinical information may be obtained and the procedure only takes a few minutes.

  • Colonoscopy

One can inspect the entire colon with this procedure. Patients almost always require intravenous analgesia and sedation (either pethidine or fentanyl with midazolam).

Bowel preparation is usually moviprep.

For colonoscopy in the community patients must be: -

  •  Able to tolerate the bowel preparation which can be quite severe. Beware renal impairment.
  • Reasonably fit to tolerate the sedation - beware significant cardio-respiratory disease
  • Relatively mobile - during colonoscopy patients turn several times to facilitate onward movement of the scope



We have developed guidelines for Dyspepsia, Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and rectal bleeding using BSG and NICE guidelines. These are appended below.

How to make a referral

The service is on Choose and Book or the referral can be faxed to 0117 962 1404.

Referrals are triaged by a doctor on a daily basis.

In order to ensure the patient is getting the right procedure it is vital we receive the relevant important information.

We are happy to speak to GPs at any time about queries regarding referrals. Contact details are as above.

Referral information needed

In addition to a referral letter with clinical details, a pre-referral diagnostic portfolio is often helpful. Clearly this will depend on the individual patient and available time-frame, but the following are suggestions that might help inform the opinion given, and speed up subsequent investigation:

Some Specific Clinical scenarios:


Diarrhoea and altered bowel habit

Full blood count, Viscosity or CRP

U and E’s, LFTs

Endomysial and tissue transglutaminase antibodies

Thyroid function

Faecal Calprotectin (currently unavailable in South Bristol for GPs)

Ulcer-type dyspepsia

H.pylori status (faecal antigen)  

Full blood count, Viscosity or CRP

U and E’s, LFTs

Endomysial and tissue transglutaminase antibodies

Reflux-type dyspepsia

Full blood count



Abdominal pain



Full blood count, ESR

U and E’s, LFTs

C-reactive protein

Endomysial and tissue transglutaminase antibodies

Consider: abdominal ultrasound

1.  We are happy to receive referrals either by letter or using our own referral forms.

2.    Please attach a patient summary print out with all referrals.

3.   Hp result is mandatory for all new cases of dyspepsia referred for gastroscopy.

4.   Please include copies all recent relative blood tests and stool results

    5.  When patients are referred for colonoscopy with diarrhoea, constipation, change in bowel habit or anaemia it is vital you send us test results as above

The patient is being offered a one stop-service and the endoscopist needs to have all the relevant information at hand.

6.   Copies of recent  relevant endoscopy reports

Patients often cross boundaries from secondary care to the community service and we need as much information as possible


We use Scorpio reporting software (Ascribe) to generate reports. We can take digital images at endoscopy which allows us to photograph certain landmarks (e.g. the caecum) to confirm completion of a procedure, as well as take images of interesting or important findings

Communication with GP and patient   

·       A letter will be sent to the GP within a week of a patient being seen in the clinic.

·       After the endoscopy a report will be immediately faxed to the GP and the patient will be given a copy.

·       Histopathology specimens are sent to UHB by courier and results are returned to us usually within two weeks (within a week for suspected malignancy). An amended endoscopy report is sent to the GP when histopathology findings have been confirmed.

·       We write to the patient and GP in the event of a follow up endoscopy being needed (e.g. polyp surveillance)  and maintain a computerised recall system                             

·       The patient is contacted by telephone if unexpected findings (such as malignancy) are found at histology. The patient is also offered a face to face appointment within one week if required.

MDT referral

We have established good links with the MDT at NBT and UHB.

If suspected malignancy is found at endoscopy the patient is informed sensitively, in the presence of a relative (if requested) that cancer maybe suspected.

·       The histology is sent urgently to UHB

·       The report and photographs are sent to the MDT coordinator via an email.  

·       Patients are given written information confirming this process.

·       The patient’s GP is informed by telephone of the possible findings, and also what the patient has been told.

·       The patient is offered either a clinic or telephone appointment one week later to discuss the histology. 


Community Gastroenterology offers GPs and patients a one stop service in a community environment. This enables hard-pressed hospitals to deal with more complex work.

 Patients report that they value this service greatly and we hope it adds to the choice that is offered to them with respect to diagnostic endoscopy and outpatient clinics.    




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