Hepatology (Liver)

The Exeter Liver Centre provides care for all aspects of liver disease for patients across Exeter and East Devon, as well as offering some services to patients in North Devon and Somerset.

We aim to provide a patient-centred and responsive service. We are actively involved in research and both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching.

We treat patients with a range of conditions, including non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, alcohol-related liver disease and viral hepatitis.

Information and about us

We see patients with a range of conditions, such as:

  • Autoimmune liver diseases
  • Autoimmune hepatitis
  • Primary biliary cholangitis
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis
  • Metabolic and inherited liver diseases
  • Haemochromatosis
  • Wilsons disease
  • Alpha 1 antitrypsin disease
  • Hepatobiliary disease
  • Liver cirrhosis/portal hypertension and its complications
  • Non-cirrhotic portal hypertension
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Patients who require or who have undergone liver transplantation
  • Patients with end-stage liver disease who are not suitable for liver transplantation

Where to find us

Eastern services

RD&E Wonford
Barrack Rd
Exeter
EX2 5DW

Level 2, Area F update

Community

We run twice weekly, nurse-led, community outreach services for our more vulnerable patients. This includes a weekly clinic for patients resident in Exeter prison, and a weekly outreach clinic in partnership with The Clock Tower surgery, which serves homeless and vulnerably housed patients within Exeter.

Clinics

Consultant clinics

  • Dr Hudson and Dr Wong – Tuesday pm and Thursday am
  • Dr Christie – Tuesday pm and Wednesday am
  • Dr Chalmers and Dr Levick – Tuesday pm and Wednesday am

Specialist nurse and Fibroscan clinics: Daily

Community outreach: Tuesday and Thursday am

Enhanced supportive care clinics/advanced liver disease clinics: Monthly

Outpatient services

We run liver clinics from the medical outpatients department in Wonford. These include general consultant clinics, subspecialty clinics, nurse led clinics for patients with stable cirrhosis or viral hepatitis and fibroscan clinics. There are monthly clinics run with the enhanced supportive care team (including physiotherapy, occupational therapy and palliative medicine) for patients with advanced liver disease. We also run quarterly joint liver transplant clinics with London's Kings College Hospital alongside our partners in University Hospitals Plymouth.

Inpatient care

Patients who are admitted either electively or as an emergency are cared for on Okement ward, a specialist environment for the management of patients with liver and gastrointestinal disease.

Day-case services

Our day-case services are provided in the Wynard ambulatory unit (located in the Centre for Women’s Health), and are available on weekdays. The procedures most commonly performed are paracentesis (drainage of ascites) and intravenous infusions.

 

 

Meet the team

Leadership team

  • Rebecca Ody, Cluster Manager
  • Ben Brierley, Lead Nurse
  • Dr Shyam Prasad, Lead Clinician
  • Dr Chris Calvert, Endoscopy Clinical Lead

Hepatology 

  • Dr John Christie, Consultant Hepatologist
  • Dr Ben Hudson, Consultant Hepatologist
  • Dr Lin Lee Wong, Consultant Hepatologist
  • Dr Jane Chalmers, Consultant Hepatologist
  • Dr Christina Levick, Consultant Hepatologist
  • Lynsey O'Para, Senior Hepatology Nurse
  • Laura Strang, Lead Hepatology Nurse
  • Sophie Bamforth, Hepatology Specialist Nurse
  • Louise Dunn, Lead Alcohol Liaison Nurse

Services and treatments

Multidisciplinary care

We run regular specialist multidisciplinary meetings for patients with advanced liver disease, liver cancer and autoimmune liver disease. This gives patients with more complex conditions a breadth of expertise throughout their treatment. We are a hub centre for second line primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) therapies, including obeticholic acid.

Endoscopy

Endoscopy involves the insertion of a long, thin tube directly into the body to observe an internal organ or tissue in detail.

We run specialised endoscopy lists for patients with portal hypertension and have advanced endoscopic facilities, including endoscopic ultrasound, ERCP and spyglass for patients with complex hepatobiliary disease.

Portal hypertension/varices lists: Wednesday mornings (am)

Specialist biliary endoscopy (including ERCP, endoscopic ultrasound, spyglass): Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

Interventional Radiology

This a medical specialisation which involves performing a range of procedures to obtain images of the inside of the body.

Our interventional radiology service carries out biopsies, drainage procedures and loco-regional therapies for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.

Patients who require admission are cared for on Okement ward.

Supporting You

There is a specialist nurse helpline, available to all patients under our care. This is staffed Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. If we are unavailable, there is an answerphone service and we will endeavour to respond to all calls within three working days. This line should not be used for urgent queries or medical emergencies.

You can also call the Liver Nurse Helpline, a nurse specialist helpline, on 01392 406108. add to contact us first page

Exeter Liver Support Group

Every Second Tuesday of the month we run the Exeter Liver Support Group. The group consists of members who have a diagnosis of a liver condition, undergoing treatment or have been a recipient of a liver transplant. Family members are welcome. This is an excellent opportunity to share experiences and learn more about liver disease. This can also be a platform to make suggestions or provide support for our local liver services. The meetings are run by the Hepatology Team with a member always in attendance.

The meetings are held every second Tuesday of the month on MS Teams from 6.30pm-7.45pm

To attend, you can join the link through the Exeter Liver Support Group Facebook page: www.facebook.com/groups/exeter.liversupport

If you don't have Facebook, call the Liver Nurses on 01392 406108 and they will email the link.

Patient Information Leaflets

We produce a wide range of leaflets which provide information about our services and about the treatment you might receive in our clinics or during your stay in hospital. 

We also produce these in different formats including large print, please contact the department you are visiting for more information.

Find out more

Information for Healthcare Professionals

An online advice and guidance system is available to local GPs which is answered on a Monday-Friday basis.

Routine GP referrals should be made via DRSS, with urgent referrals via the fast-track system.

Guidelines for management of patients with abnormal LFTs in the community can be found on the Devon Formulary.

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Last updated: January 11, 2023