About Us

The Red Lion Group (RLG) is a support group founded in 1994 by a group of patients and staff at St. Mark’s Hospital in London for people who have had or are considering Pouch Surgery – also known as ileal pouch-anal pouch anastomosis (IPAA), the ileo-anal pouch or a restorative proctocolectomy. The pouch is commonly referred to as a “Parks pouch” (after Sir Alan Parks) or “internal pouch“, and also a “J-pouch“, “W-pouch” or “S-pouch” depending on the configuration.

RLG provides a friendly and informed forum for the sharing of ideas, concerns, tips, experiences and information to support pouchees, potential pouchees and their friends and family.

St. Mark’s Hospital is one of the leading hospitals in the world for research into and the treatment of bowel conditions. The original procedure was pioneered by Sir Alan Parks at St. Mark’s Hospital in the mid-to-late 1970s and the work was continued by Professor John Nicholls who has probably performed more pouch operations than anybody worldwide.

However, the Red Lion Group is not just for St. Mark’s Hospital patients. Membership is open to anybody that has had or is considering the procedure.

Join the Red Lion Group

Membership costs £10 (£5 for hardship cases, and free for under 16s) per year. Please download a PDF membership application form to print, fill in and post to us.

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Subscribe to our mailing list and rest assured your data will not be shared with third parties. We will provide you with updates that are relevant for you.

What's New

Stay up-to-date with all of our latest news, events and stories

Information day 2018
The 2018 Information Day took place on Saturday 12 May 2018 at the St. Mark’s Hospital in Harrow. We were
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My Catheter Conversion
I’ve just had to pay a large fine for wasting hospital time – or at least I should have done.
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From Rome to Raphael
How pregnancy and childbirth affected my pouch Knowing that many pouch owners have trouble conceiving, I feel almost guilty that
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Someone’s Looking After Me
Karen Hawkins’ journey from purgatory to pouch took three years and at times the going was extraordinarily tough. She can
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