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 to provide diagnostic investigations of bladder function. Some theraputic services are also available such as peripheral nerve stimulation for bladder problems and biofeedback/bowel retraining for defaecatory problems. Patients would normally need to have diagnostic procedures performed before initiation of any therapy.

Though empirical and/or over the counter remedies may offer short term alleviation of symptoms for many patients, it is important to eliminate more serious disorders and to 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 6 personnel: a receptionist, a Unit administrator, a senior Staff Nurse specialising in bladder studies, a senior Healthcare Assistant, a Clinical Physiologist and a senior Cinical Physiologist/manager. We work closely with the Dept. Urology Continence Advisors, prostate assessment, women’s health physioltherapists and physiotherapists specialising in continence problems.


The Unit is accredited by the Association of GI Physiologists as a Service Unit for GI physiology investigations, and will seek accreditation with the United Kingdom Continence Society for bladder studies (urodynamics) when the accreditation system comes into being in the near future. All investigators are registered and accredited with their relevant regulatory bodies.


The Unit takes referrals from a total of 35+ consultants around the county and beyond, in such disciplines as General Surgery, Thoracic Surgery, Gastroenterology, Cardiology, Respiratory Medicine, Urology, Gynaecology and Paediatrics. The Unit does not take referrals from General Practitioners.


Due to the complicated nature of the tests performed in this Unit, most appointments are scheduled for a minimum of 45 minutes duration and can be as long as 3 – 4 hours for ambulatory urodynamics. We would respectfully ask that patients endeavour to attend their appointments as arranged and on time – we can not simply take the next patient from the waiting room to fill the vacant appointment. If patients are unable to attend we would ask that as much notice as possible is given (an answer machine is always available outside office hours) so that another patient may be offered the appointment. Please read carefully any instructions that come with your appointment letter – if you do not follow these instructions we may not be able to proceed with your test. This causes delays to you and other patients. Failure to attend without notice, or repeated cancellations may result in patients being referred back to their GP.