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Endocrinology and diabetes

Welcome to the Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust. We are a specialist university hospital offering tertiary level care across the whole spectrum of endocrinology - the field of medicine concerned with hormone conditions. 

Adult endocrine and diabetes services are based at Bristol Royal Infirmary. We have specific specialist care pathways for patients with neuroendocrine, pituitary, adrenal and thyroid disease as well as for patients with a reproductive endocrine diagnosis (including pregnancy with an endocrine condition), multiple endocrine neoplasia or other endocrine genetic syndromes, as well as care for patients with endocrine complications from previous cancer therapy. We also offer highly specialist care for patients with diabetes in pregnancy, patients on insulin pump therapy, patients with diabetic neuropathic pain, patients with diabetic foot complications and patients with diabetes in the context of cystic fibrosis, renal disease or genetic syndromes. The diabetes team believe strongly in patient empowerment and patient education. 

As hormone conditions frequently affect many body systems, we have close working relationships across a range of clinical disciplines and have dedicated multidisciplinary teams and defined pathways of care to ensure that we deliver effective, timely and high quality care to our patients. 

The department of endocrinology comprises academic and NHS consultant staff as well as specialist registrars, a lecturer, a clinical research fellow and specialist nurses, ensuring that we have a broad portfolio of expertise to support patient care. We strongly believe in combining high quality, evidence based clinical care and aspire to achieve excellent communication with our patients and healthcare colleagues. All patients seen in routine secondary care clinics will receive a consultant level opinion and all patients seen in tertiary specialty clinics will receive both a consultant level opinion and consultant sign off of the clinic letter, which serves as the patient care record. It is routine practice for all patient correspondence to be copied to the patient unless they express a wish not to receive this information or there are valid clinical reasons not to. 

Senior specialist endocrine trainees from the Severn Deanery Rotation rotate through our service and we aim to offer excellent clinical experience, combined with the opportunity to develop skills in presentation, critical appraisal of the scientific literature and audit. There are also many opportunities for research experience (across the range from small projects to higher academic degrees), publications and exposure to NHS management.

The department runs an annual South West endocrine symposium and an annual South West diabetes symposium. The endocrine symposium is co-ordinated by Dr Karin Bradley together with Dr Antonia Brooke, consultant endocrinologist at Exeter, and has been running since 2009. All meetings have received excellent feedback - the most recent in 2012 received scores of 95-100% across all categories including organisation, relevance and quality. The successful annual diabetes symposium is co-ordinated by Dr Bushra Ahmad and Dr Natasha Thorogood. 

The University of Bristol in collaboration with UH Bristol, has a major neuroendocrinology research programme led by Professor Stafford Lightman with its primary focus on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. MRC, Wellcome Trust, EU and BBSRC grants support a broad range of research covering chromatin biology, electrophysiology, cell biology and physiology through to translational studies on glucocorticoid regulation in health and disease and new techniques of glucocorticoid replacement and therapeutics. A further research programme into the aetiology and treatment of diabetic neuropathic pain is led by Professor David Wynick and translational studies into the endocrinology of critical illness by Dr Karin Bradley. Purpose built laboratories are in the Dorothy Hodgkin Building, adjacent to the Bristol Royal Infirmary, where there is also a dedicated clinical research facility. There is an active process of engaging endocrinology and diabetes patients into local, national and international research programmes.