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New specialist unit improving endocrinology care

26 May 2021 - Press Release

 A new specialist investigation unit at Stepping Hill Hospital is helping ensure patients with potential endocrinology conditions are getting faster and more accurate assessments.

The specialist unit allows patients to receive their diagnosis as outpatients, without the need for an inpatient stay, and is one of only two clinics of its type in Greater Manchester.

Endocrinology is the study and management of hormone related disorders which are often complex including some rare conditions. The endocrine system is made up of all the glands in your body that produce hormones, with major glands including the pituitary, the thyroid, the pancreas, and others.

Hormones help to regulate your body’s growth and function via your bloodstream, and if they become unbalanced they can lead to various conditions known as endocrine disorders. These are the conditions which are diagnosed and treated by the clinic’s consultants. Examples include thyroid problems, adrenal nodules (which may lead to Cushing’s syndrome with hypertension, diabetes and osteoporosis), or pituitary nodules, which may lead to pituitary deficiency or cause blindness.

Some of these conditions are difficult to diagnose, as simple blood tests are not enough. In these cases “dynamic tests” are needed, which require significant expertise both in how they are performed and how the results are interpreted. Previously these specialised tests required an inpatient stay, for which patients would often have to wait for over few months.

The new clinic, led by endocrinology consultants and an endocrinology specialist nurse, allows patients to receive their diagnosis as outpatients, without the need for an inpatient stay.

The clinic has reduced the typical waiting time significantly. As the clinic is run by endocrinology specialists this also allows for more accurate tests as well more reliable results. Patients have the opportunity to meet the endocrinology specialist nurse and the reason for the tests to be discussed, keeping them informed in all aspects of their treatment.

The sooner the tests can be carried, the faster a patient can be successfully treated, which will prevent a great number of damaging and life threatening conditions. The specialist clinic is run on one day each week, and is expected to benefit around 300 patients a year.

Dr Daniela Aflorei, Consultant in Diabetes and Endocrinology for Stockport NHS Foundation Trust who runs the clinic, said “I am delighted we are now able to provide a specialist Endocrinology service at our hospital which can provide quicker and more convenient care for our patients. With these conditions, swift diagnosis is very important for effective treatment, so this is going to have real benefit for people’s lives. I’d like to thank the many members of staff who helped us set up the new clinic and made it possible.”

Nurse specialist Joanne Brown and consultant Dr Daniela Aflorei in the new endocrinology clinic

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