Paediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition - sub-specialty

A paediatric gastroenterologist supports children with disorders that affect the gastrointestinal tract (stomach and intestines). A paediatric hepatologist works with children with liver diseases. Access the current syllabus for training in PGHAN.

What makes a paediatric gastroenterologist or hepatologist?

A paediatric gastroenterologist is a clinician who provides tertiary services for the diagnosis and long-term management of rare disorders and complex cases of more common disorders that affect the gastrointestinal tract. Gastroenterologists provide nutritional support for patients, including those with temporary or permanent intestinal failure, and manage services for home parenteral nutrition.

Paediatric hepatologists provide both tertiary and national hepatology services in designated centres. They diagnose and manage paediatric liver diseases, such as acute and chronic liver failure, and are co-located with transplant services to provide care for liver and small bowel transplantation patients.

Paediatric gastroenterologists and hepatologists often provide specialist advice in a model of shared care. They are co-located in regional units with key services such as paediatric surgery and paediatric intensive care. They understand the indications, benefits and risks of procedures for diagnostic evaluation and possess specialised skills in performing and interpreting the results of tests, such as gastrointestinal endoscopy and liver biopsy.

Revised syllabus

We spoke with clinicians working in this sub-specialty, and agreed some enhancements to the sub-specialty syllabus. The revised version is approved by the General Medical Council (GMC) for use as of August/September 2021. Download the revised syllabus below

A summary of the changes:

  • The introductory statement has been amended, and a paragraph added at the end.
  • Learning Outcome (LO) 1, Key Capability (KC) has been amended where the term ‘judges the suitability of’ has been replaced with ‘is aware of’.
  • LO 5 the term ‘Gastroscopy and Colonoscopy’ has been added and KC updated by replacing ‘gastrointestinal endoscopy’ with ‘Gastroscopy’ and a new KC added.
  • Illustration 11 has also been updated by replacing ‘upper gastrointestinal endoscopy’ with ‘Gastroscopy’. 
  • The Assessment Grid has been updated to reflect changes to the KCs.

You can find out more about the updates to this and other sub-specialty syllabi. If you have any questions contact us on