Upper Gastrointestinal Services

An upper gastrointestinal cancer affects the upper part of the digestive system. Upper G I team provides medical management of cancer of the oesophagus, stomach, duodenum, gall bladder, bile duct, liver and pancreas. A joint multi-disciplinary Upper GI cancer team looks after patients and provides various types of diagnostic tests and treatment including oncological therapies, surgery and palliative care. We work closely with Barts Health and patients might have further treatments at The Royal London ( Barts Health).

Services available
If your GP thinks your symptoms may be related to upper gastrointestinal  cancer, you will be given an appointment to see one of our specialists within two weeks of referral in accordance with national guidelines. It is also important to remember that these symptoms can be caused by conditions other than cancer as well.

What to expect at your appointment

Your first appointment at hospital may take between 45 minutes to two hours. You will see a gastroenterology consultant or doctor who will ask you about your symptoms and examine you. At your first appointment you may have one or more of the following tests or you may be asked to return at a later date. These tests help us to find out whether you have cancer. Some investigations may take place prior to your first appointment.

Depending on the investigations it may take place at Homerton, St. Bartholomew’s Hospital or the London Independent Hospital. Patients who require surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy for Upper GI cancer will be referred to Royal London or Barts Hospital (Barts Health). You will be introduced to your Upper GI clinical nurse specialist (CNS) who will be your key worker. They will support you and your family during your care.

Clinical nurse specialist/key worker: Martina Kelly

Making an appointment
Your first appointment at hospital may take between 45 minutes to two hours. You may have tests and investigations on the same day or at a later date.
You will see a gastroenterology consultant or doctor who will ask you about your symptoms and examine you. They will explain your treatment plan and the investigations you may need.

How to contact us
To change or cancel an appointment, please contact central booking department.
Telephone: 020 8510 5544

We usually send you appointment letters for tests, investigations or treatments by post or text message.

Tests & investigations

They may include:

  • barium swallow meal
  • CT scan
  • endoscopy such as a gastroscopy or OGD, CT, endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)

and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)

  • PET scan, which you will have at St Bartholomew’s Hospital

Your care may include one or more or a combination of treatments. You have all of the following treatments at Royal London and St Bartholomew’s Hospital or sometimes UCH:

  • Surgery to remove the cancer, followed by chemotherapy

If surgery is not an option, you may be offered one of the following:

  • a combination of oesophageal stent insertion, radiotherapy and chemotherapy
  • chemotherapy and radiotherapy
  • a course of chemotherapy or radiotherapy

.Your care and treatment depends on the type cancer you have, its size and where it is, how far it has advanced (the stage) and your overall health. You have the final decision about what treatment you agree to have. Based on the results of your tests and investigations our team of specialists will review your treatment plan in a multi disciplinary team meeting. We will arrange an appointment so you can discuss your treatment options with your consultant and keyworker (clinical nurse specialist). They will explain your treatment plan and any other investigations that you may need.


The Homerton Team is part of a larger “Inner East London” Team which meets every

Tuesday mornings. Your care will be provided by a group of experts called a multidisciplinary team (MDT). This is a team of doctors, nurses and other health professionals specialising in treating your type of cancer. You can discuss your care with them and ask them any questions you have about your treatment.

Key core consultant, nurse and multi-disciplinary team members are:

Consultant Gastroenterologists

  • Dr Ian Ewing: Gastroenterologist- Cancer Lead
  • Dr Jun Ling Chin: Gastroenterologist
  • Dr Ray Shidrawi: Gastroenterologist
  • Dr Peter Boavida: Radiologist
  • Professor Feakins: Histopathologists at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital
  • Martina Kelly: Upper GI Nurse Specialist /key worker

Dr S Slater: Consultant Oncologists
The oncology doctor provides treatment between Homerton Hospital and St Barts Hospital.

Susan Maslanka: Oncology secretary
Phone: 020 8510 7819
Email: susan.maslanks@nhs.net

Grace Owen: Dietician

Other team members are:

Shirley Williams
Macmillan Cancer CNS Pathway Navigator
They help the Clinical Nurse Specialist (Key worker) in their day to-day activities but can help with administrative queries or to leave a message for the CNS’s.
As they are not medically qualified, they are unable to give medical advice.
Telephone: 020 8510 8968
Email: huh-tr.homerton.cancersupport@nhs.net

Tara Malihi –Shoja: MDT coordinator

How we support you

Our team here offers counselling, clinical psychology and liaison psychiatry input to help you deal with the emotional and psychological side effects of cancer and will offer you information, support and practical help. Speaking to our psychologist can also help you cope with confusing or upsetting emotions. Your healthcare team can tell you more about our psychological support services and refer you if necessary.

  • Dr Sylvia Puchalska Clinical Psychologist in Cancer Care for City and Hackney
    Working days – Monday, Wednesday, Thursday
  • Steve Young Counselling Psychologist in Training & MBACP
    Working days – Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday

How we support you

Ongoing support

The Upper GI Cancer Nurse is able to offer:

  • advice on treatment options
  • information on any investigations
  • referral to another team member
  • information on local support groups
  • information on relevant websites and charities

Phone: 020 85105245
E-mail: martina.kelly@nhs.net
Available: Mondays - Fridays, 9am-5pm

If you unable to contact your key worker you can also contact Macmillan cancer support worker supporting CNS. As they are not medically qualified, they are unable to give medical advice.
Telephone: 020 85108969
Email: shirley.wale@nhs.net

Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Service, between 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday. Based at the main entrance of the hospital.

We are at the end of the phone for cancer patients, their relatives and carers to answer your questions or to direct your call to the appropriate person.

We want to make sure that you get all the assistance you need to live well with – and after – cancer. There’s a wide range of support available to help you cope with cancer, including physical, emotional and practical advice for you, your family, friends and carers.

Madhu Agarwal
Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Manager

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday between 8am – 4pm
020 8510 5191

Financial Support at Homerton
Macmillan Toynbee Hall Welfare Rights Service
Telephone: 020 7392 2958
Welfare support is by appointments only available on Tuesday 1pm – 4pm and Wednesday 9.30 am -12.30pm.