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St John & St Elizabeth Hospital is proud of our dedicated patient care and we strive to make each patient’s time with us as pleasant as possible. Watch more of our patient stories here and find out about their experiences with us.

Patient at The GI Unit

A patient's experience at The GI Unit

A businessman was facing a ten-hour wait for treatment for excruciating abdominal pain when the hospital and its skilled clinical teams came to the rescue.

With no clear indication of when he might be seen, he made a crucial call through the London Urology unit which arranged for consultant surgeon Mr Leye Ajayi and his team to be ready for his arrival.

The patient had severe renal colic but within an hour of his consultation he was in the operating theatre and an hour later in the recovery bay after a successful procedure to remove urinary stones.

He says: “I was in the UK for a week but started getting pain in my abdomen so went to an A&E department at another hospital. I sat for five hours before being seen and, although I was sent me for a CT scan, they said they couldn’t do anything straight away and I had to wait another five hours.

The pain was terrible so I started looking for urologists online and found the hospital website which was impressive. I had a flight to catch the next evening so I was eager to get seen as soon as possible and the unit was fantastic, organising an appointment with Mr Ajayi and making sure theatre space was free for an urgent appointment.

I didn’t expect to be seen an into theatre so quickly. I was told the cost and it was worth it. Painless is priceless. Everyone was very helpful and efficient, accommodating my requests and sensitivities, giving me a halal meal option after the operation. I was delighted by this, it was nice.

I’m extremely grateful they made space for me and I felt very secure and in good hands. The anaesthetist took extra care with me and painkillers for my recovery meant I had a great night’s sleep.

Mr Ajayi was professional and helpful at all times. In fact, everyone has been professional and accommodating to my needs and I am so pleased with the outcome.

Mr Leye Ajayi MD FRCS (Urol) Consultant Urological Surgeon comments: “The patient was in pain and wanted immediate treatment which we were able to facilitate. The staff on St Francis ward and in the theatre were fantastic with a prompt admission at the end of what had been a busy day for them.

Renal colic is a type of pain you get when urinary stones block part of your urinary tract. I was able to discuss treatment options with him and the operation was successful.

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Gabrielle Llewelyn - London Hip Specialists testimonial

Suffering with severe Hip pain for over a decade, and after seemingly exhausting all options, Gabrielle Llewelyn was finally referred to Mr Robert Marston, a surgeon within our London Hip Specialists unit. After an initial consultation, Mr Marston suggested a pioneering operation, using tendon and bone donor graft. After a successful operation, Gabrielle is now happily walking again on the beach with her dog! Read more about her story below. Contact London Hip Specialists today if you’re suffering from any hip pain.


I developed what was diagnosed as Trochanteric Bursitis over my left hip in 2002. I was treated over many years with cortisone injections but with no lasting benefit. In 2008 I had surgery to release tissue over the bursa. This was performed as a last resort since the pain was so debilitating I was considering stopping work.

This surgery was not successful and so in 2014 I had a further operation. The surgeon said he had stitched the tendon back. I was not allowed to put my foot to the ground for six weeks before walking a very short distance for another six weeks. I was told that there was nothing else that could be done. However, despite having had two knee replacements, I was still an active dog walker and in full-time work. The result of the second operation was a bitter disappointment. The following year I had a further ultrasound-guided cortisone injection which lasted for a few weeks.

I asked my GP to refer me to another surgeon in the North East where I am now living. The surgeon was very sympathetic but said it was unlikely that he could help. He arranged more MRI and ultrasound scans. He referred me to a colleague to be discussed at a multidisciplinary meeting. They concluded that the first repair had failed and that there was nothing further that could be done.

By this time I was depressed, becoming overweight and was in considerable pain. I was still trying to work as a prison chaplain. It was impossible as I was so slow and could not even get across the huge premises. Walking with a stick was becoming very difficult so I was given a buggy. I continued to work until I could no longer manage the pain. Sadly I left the prison service and returned to help in a parish church as an assistant priest. Whilst I loved my work, I was becoming more and more immobile. I had to admit that I would have to give up unless something could be done.

I heard of St Luke’s Charity which assists clergy to see consultants. I was referred to Mr Marston, who does pro bono work at the hospital for St Luke’s Healthcare for the Clergy. Life looked up! He did not dismiss me. He suggested this incredible operation using a donor graft. He explained that, to reconstruct the damaged tendon, we would use an Achilles tendon and bone donor graft. I said yes at once and managed to raise the funds to have the surgery. I feel it is desperately sad that this is not on offer on the NHS as so many people who get trapped in this wretched cycle of bursitis and tendonitis would benefit.

After a short stay in hospital I was home, walking with crutches for the first two months. At about nine months, I was pain-free and able to gently run on the beach with my dog. I then suffered a setback due to a disc prolapse. That was sorted out at my local hospital but I am now back walking the dog, pushing a supermarket trolley and continuing work at church.

I still use a stick when I walk outside but hope that I may abandon this before too long. However that is unimportant, the main thing being I am pain-free. I am so grateful for this bone and tendon graft surgery. It has allowed me to move again without pain. I have even moved from a bungalow back to a house with stairs since I can now manage the stairs without a problem. Things are so good.

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Julian Greenway - Casualty First Testimonial

As his wife had previously used Casualty First in times of need, Julian didn’t hesitate to visit when he first noticed blood in his urine. After seeing Dr Van Nierop at Casualty First, where he was thoroughly examined and sent for extensive tests, an appointment was subsequently made with experienced Urologist Mr Leye Ajayi. Following a CT scan, a tumour was identified in Mr Greenway’s bladder, with surgery arranged for the following day. Mr Greenway was in awe at the speed of treatment offered, and offered the highest praise for Dr Van Nierop, Mr Leye Ajayi and all the staff he encountered within Casualty First and the Hospital.

Anna - London Foot and Ankle Specialists testimonial

Anna had been suffering from severe pain in her feet due to Bunions. At 25, she was quite young to be suffering from the condition, therefore after an initial assessment with London Foot and Ankle Specialist Consultant Orthopaedic David Redfern ; surgery was deemed the most appropriate course of action.

Following a short two month recovery period, Anna’s life has now completely changed. “The surgery changed everything. I’m no longer living with a daily pain. I’m more confident, and I can wear whatever shoes I like. I can’t recommend the surgery enough”.

Dr John Watson - London Hernia & The GI Unit testimonial

Dr John Watson came into our urgent care centre Casualty First with what he suspected to be a strangulated hernia. He was seen immediately and referred to one of our specialist London Hernia consultants Mr Romi Navaratnam. Dr Watson was seen the same day by our consultants and praised the standard of patient rooms, the quality of the food provided and the knowledgeable nurses that were on-hand throughout his treatment.

Kate - Shoulder Unit testimonial

Kate came to the Shoulder Unit with severe pain in her left shoulder. She was seen by Mr Toby Baring and was initially diagnosed with bursitis of the shoulder which then progressed to the more severe condition of frozen shoulder. Kate experienced such pain that she struggled to walk and sleep at night and was in desperate need of treatment. Mr Baring recommended hydrodilation of the shoulder treatment for Kate and she was on the mend immediately after being treated. Within two weeks of the treatment, she was feeling much better and able to get back to her daily life.

John Agar - London Urology testimonial

John was suffering from kidney stone pain and was able to be seen quickly by London Urology Consultant Mr Leye AjayiHaving been diagnosed with kidney stones Mr Agar was able to have the operation the next day and praised the treatment he received and the recovery process.

Mr Agar praised the nursing staff commenting that they would do “anything to help”.

Tessa - The GI Unit testimonial

Tessa came into our urgent care centre Casualty First suffering from severe abdominal pain. She was seen immediately and referred to The GI Unit to see specialist Consultant Mr Romi Navaratnam. Tessa praised the quick diagnosis of a diverticular infection and the attention to detail shown by Mr Navaratnam, always making her feel at ease and never rushed.

Rowena - London Hip Specialists Testimonial

Suffering from hip pain, Rowena was recommended by a friend to London Hip Specialists to see lead hip Consultant, Mr Robert Marston.  Rowena talks of her positive experience with Mr Marston and reflects on his calming approach and not at any point feeling rushed, always able to answer and fully explain any questions that she had. In particular Rowena was impressed with being able to walk on the same day after her operation and the accuracy of her recovery plan that was designed by Mr Marston. Rowena expressed full confidence in returning to London Hip Specialists should she need a further hip operation in the future.

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