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.
COVID-19: latest information
The UK government provide advice on COVID-19, including vaccination against COVID-19. General advice on who is eligible for a booster vaccine can be found on the NHS website.
New outpatient treatments have become available recently for high risk patients with COVID-19 infection that aim to prevent severe infection. The patients with liver disease who are considered high risk and would therefore be eligible for treatment if they develop COVID-19 are:
- Patients with cirrhosis
- Patients with a liver transplant
- Patients on immunosuppression
These high risk patients should expect to be contacted by the NHS with instructions on what to do if they develop symptoms of COVID-19. If they develop COVID-19 symptoms, have a positive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for COVID-19 and are eligible for the treatment, they will be contacted by the hospital to consider outpatient treatment within 72 hours of the positive result. If however their symptoms are severe, they should not wait to be contacted and should seek medical help in the usual way.
If you consider yourself to be in the high risk category, but have not been contacted either with information on what to do if you develop COVID-19 symptoms by mid-January 2022 or you test PCR positive for COVID-19 at any time, please contact the liver nurses via our helpline below as you may still be eligible for one of the new treatments after discussion with our consultants.
If you are not high risk for COVID-19, you should continue to observe the government advice as for the general population.
Further useful information can be found on these websites:
If you have questions regarding COVID-19 and liver disease, please call the Liver Nurse Helpline on 01392 406108.
More on what we do
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
- 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
We run liver clinics on most days 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.
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.
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.
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 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
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 are undergoing day-case procedures are managed via the Wynard Ambulatory Unit, whilst patients who require admission are cared for on Okement ward.
Dr John Christie, Lead Clinician for Gastroenterology and 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
Where to find us
RD&E Wonford, Barrack Rd, Exeter EX2 5DW
Level 2, Area F
Nurse Specialists: 01392 406108 | Room G14, Bowmoor House
Dr Christie’s secretary: Jinette Newns, 01392 402791 | Room F18, Bowmoor House
Dr Wong’s secretary: Caroline Dean, 01392 404615 | Room G18, Bowmoor House
Dr Hudson’s secretary: Joanna Vigers, 01392 408088 | Room F18, Bowmoor House
Dr Chalmers and Dr Levick's secretary: Sarah McNamara, 01392 404087 | Room G18, Bowmoor House
Patient leaflets and documents
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.
Children and young people
Patients moving from paediatric services are reviewed in conjunction with the child health team to ensure a smooth transition to adult services.
- 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
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.
Exeter Liver Support Group:
This group meets every second Tuesday of the month at 6.30pm in the medical outpatients department, Level 1 Area D. Family members are welcome. This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about liver disease and meet people who might have a similar problem. It can also be a platform to make suggestions or provide support for our local liver services. This is always attended by members of the hepatology team.
The support group is affiliated with the British Liver Trust. If interested feel free to ask one of our consultants, specialist nurses or secretaries for details.
Help us to improve our service for you and others by completing our patient survey feedback. After your appointment with us, please take a few minutes to complete the anonymous survey, here.
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.