Norfolk Physiology Unit

The Norfolk Physiology Unit operates under the umbrella of General Surgery to provide diagnostic investigations of the upper and lower gastro-intestinal tract and bladder function. Some therapeutic services are also available, including biofeedback/bowel retraining for defaecatory problems and various irrigation treatments for incomplete emptying of the rectum, severe faecal incontinence and severe constipation. Patients normally need to have diagnostic procedures performed before any therapy.

Though empirical and/or over the counter remedies may offer short-term alleviation of symptoms for many patients, it’s important to eliminate more serious disorders and target therapies appropriately to maximise treatment efficacy.

The Unit comprises a self-contained, purpose-designed and built suite of investigation rooms and offices and is staffed by two Receptionists, a Clerical officer, a senior Staff Nurse specialising in bladder studies, a senior Healthcare Assistant, a Clinical Physiologist and a senior Clinical Physiologist. We work closely with Urology Continence Advisors, women’s health physiotherapists and physiotherapists specialising in continence problems.


All investigators are registered and accredited with their relevant regulatory bodies.  The Physiologists are registered with the Association of Gastrointestinal Physiology.  The Unit is seeking future accreditation for both GI Physiology investigations and Urodynamics through Improving Quality in Physiology Services (IQIPS).


The Unit takes referrals from over 50 consultants and provides a service for the whole of Norfolk and Suffolk, taking referrals from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, James Paget Hospital and  North Essex Hospital Trust.  The Unit takes referrals from a range of specialities including General Surgery, Gastroenterology, Respiratory Medicine, Urology, Gynaecology and Paediatrics. We don’t take referrals from General Practitioners.


Most appointments are scheduled for a minimum of 45 minutes and can be as long as three to four hours for ambulatory urodynamics. We ask that patients endeavour to attend their appointments as arranged and on time as we can’t simply take the next patient from the waiting room to fill a vacant appointment. If you’re unable to attend, please give as much notice as possible (an answer machine is always available outside office hours) so others can be offered the appointment. Please read carefully any instructions with your appointment letter – if you don’t follow them we may not be able to proceed with your test which delays you and other patients. Failure to attend without notice or repeated cancellations may result in referral back to their GP.

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