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.

Red Lion Group is a small charity run entirely by volunteers. Surplus funds are donated to the St. Mark’s Hospital Foundation which helps fund the innovative research projects undertaken at St Mark’s Hospital.


Join the Red Lion Group

Become a member of the Red Lion Pouch Support Group and receive additional benefits :-

  • Priority and discounted attendance at the annual Information Day hosted at St. Mark’s Hospital
  • Printed copy and online access to ROAR! and ROAR! archives
  • Can’t Wait / Medic Alert card (with QR code linking to medic alert information on Red Lion Group website)
Can’t Wait / Medic Alert card – FREE to members

Join by clicking on the “Join Now” button below. After your email address is verified, you will be emailed payment instructions. Annual membership fee is £10.00 (free for under 16s) per year due on 1 January.

(Fee may be waived for hardship cases. Please contact the membership secretary in strictest confidence at membership@pouchsupport.org )

Join Now

RLG Constitution

The written Constitution of the Red Lion Group can be downloaded below.


The Red Lion Group is a charity, run by volunteers, with advice from St. Mark’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (Pouch Department). The content of the website is intended to be helpful to people with internal ileo-anal pouch and those who are considering such surgery. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice or a medical examination. We do not promote or recommend any treatment or course of action. 

What's New

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

Ileo-Anal Pouch Surgery for Ulcerative Colitis - A Guide for Patients Republished 11 April 2022 Stop Press - Zarah Perry-Woodford
Information Day 2022 (postponed) Updated 10 May 2022 I am sorry to write to you with news that we have
Contacting the St. Mark's Hospital Pouch Team and other useful contacts You can contact the Pouch Team at St. Mark's
Roll up! Roll up! for the Main Event Now the sun is shining, clocks going forward this weekend and just