Hi, just wanted to give you some sort of reply since nonen rise has picked this up.
The medical system here in the UK is different to what you are used to on the US. It can be very slow to get an appointment, unless you pay and go private, the level of care either way is very high at the important bits, but a bit shabby elsewhere (think a wait in weeks for results of cat scan or MRI. You might never be told the results of blood tests unless you specifically ask). And you will likely have the same surgeon whether you pay privately or use the NHS (national health service).
Usually you get referred to a hospital from a local doctor. The nurses will justkeep an eye on you and give the usual advice regarding diet and meds etc, at a predefined period, they will arrange for you to see the consultant to get scoped etc and for any operations you are referred to a surgeon. You can elect for a second opinion, but in my experience that is mostly a paper exercise.
Sometimes I read experiences on this forum and wonder if the big US doctors are as good as they are made out to be tbh.. In the UK you don't get doctors saying about being the best at something, there's no advertising or anything like that, but that doesn't mean the standard is not high, it's just about patients rather than customers.
If you have a really complicated condition of some sort you can be referred to St Marks hospital, which is as good (or bit better) than any other specialist clinic in the world.
So in summary, the care is perhaps not as polished as you would get in the States, but the outcomes are at least as good. If you need a lot of care St Marks is our flagship bowel specialist hospital. Personally I had mine done at a local hospital and it went as well as it possibly could have (I was home in 3 days)
Incidentally, I'm not really one to go to the doctors a lot, but Im yet to meet a doctor (or a nurse actually) that didn't know what a j-pouch was in the UK. Maybe I've been lucky?