Dr Bruce Macfarlane

Dr Bruce Macfarlane

Consultant Gastroenterologist


Specialises in

I qualified from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa in 1982. After a House Officer post, followed by compulsory military training, I then completed over 3 years a PhD in Iron Absorption at the MRC Iron and Red Cell Metabolism Unit. I moved to the United Kingdom in 1989. I trained in Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Royal Free Hospital as a registrar in Gastroenterology, and then as Lecturer in Hepatology obtaining a CCST (certificate of completion of specialist training ) in Gastroenterology and General Medicine in 1996.

I obtained a consultant position in Gastroenterology at Mt Vernon and Watford (now West Herts NHS Trust) in 1996. I was initially the sole gastroenterology consultant with no trainees and a shared endoscopy Unit. The West Herts Unit has, over the years, been built up into a extremely efficient operation, offering a diverse range of services, with a dedicated Gastro ward, 8 trainees and a much expanded endoscopy unit. My sub-specialty interest is in colonoscopy and advanced therapeutic colonoscopy. From my Royal Free training, I also have an interest in the evaluation of abnormal liver function tests and from my PhD, I have an interest in the evaluation of iron deficiency anaemia.

I have been a consultant in private practice since 1997, managing most areas of gastroenterology for the past 20 years.

I have been performing diagnostic and therapeutic upper GIT endoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, and diagnostic and therapeutic colonoscopy since 1989. I gained accreditation as a NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Colonoscopist in 2008. Through this program, I am subject to rigorous and regular Quality Assurance. I have a particular interest in the management of colonic polyp cancers, and in advanced therapeutic colonoscopy for large benign polyps. I do a dedicated EMR (endoscopic mucosal resection) list each week in the NHS for removal of large colonic polyps, thus avoiding surgery, and also provide in the NHS a colonic stenting service for the palliation of obstructing colon cancers. In my private practice, I have a weekly theatre list to cover upper GIT endoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy and diagnostic / therapeutic colonoscopy.

Over my career I have held the following positions: Program Director then Chairman for Speciality Gastroenterology Training, London North West for 4 years, Clinical tutor West Herts NHS Trust for 10 years, Program Director for Foundation Year 1 training West Herts NHS Trust for 5 years and MAC chairman Spire Bushey Hospital for 3 years.

I am currently the clinical lead for the West Herts NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Program, and for the NHS Bowel Scope Program. I have a particular passion for bowel cancer screening, and am proud that my NHS Trust have been involved in this service since 2008, with introduction of the Bowel Scope Program in 2015. I am the Project Lead for a multi million pound expansion of the Endoscopy Unit at Watford, with a completion date of March 2017.


General Medical Council Number: C2811626

Treatment information

Some of the principal treatments carried out by Dr Bruce Macfarlane at Spire include:


Other treatments

  • Crohn's disease
  • Endoscopy
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Liver disease

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Additional information

Bowel disease
Gastrointestinal pathology
Inflammatory bowel disease
Liver disease

MB BCh / University of the Witwatersrand / 1982
Batchelor of Medicine and Surgery

PhD / University of the Witwatersrand / 1989
Doctor of Philosophy

FRCP / Royal College of Physicians, London / 2001
Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians

Professional memberships

British Society of Gastroenterology

Royal College of Physicians

British Medical Association

Professional leadership

Clinical Lead for West Herts NHS Trust Bowel Cancer Screening Program and Bowel Scope Program

West Herts Hospital NHS Trust.

I am married with two daughters. My main interests outside medicine are mountain climbing, hiking and rugby.

Telephone 020 8901 5555
Private secretary Peggie Moss
Private secretary telephone 020 8901 0315