Welcome to the Red Lion Group

The Red Lion Group is a UK pouch support charity

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 anal pouch anastomosis, the ileo-anal pouch or a restorative proctocolectomy. The pouch is commonly referred to as a "Parks pouch" or "internal pouch", and also a "J-pouch", "W-pouch" or "S-pouch" depending on 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 1970’s and the work was continued by 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.

Why Join the Red Lion Group?

Having a pouch can have its ups and downs, but we hope that by sharing the stories of people with pouches and providing support and information, this website will help you if you have, or are considering having, an ileo-anal pouch.

Join the Red Lion Group to receive a newsletter two or three times a year containing useful advice and support. Every year in late spring we hold an Information Day consisting of seminars and workshops covering a range of topics of interest to pouch owners and those considering having the operation.
Information Day 2017 Talks
Here are some of the talks given at our Information Day on 13 May 2017.
Laparoscopic pouch surgery by Mr Janindra Warusavitarne, Consultant Colorectal Surgeon at St Mark's Hospital.

The Role of a Balanced Diet with an Ileo-anal pouch by Evi Kyriakidou, Inflammatory Bowel Disease Dietitian at St Mark's Hospital.

Drugs and Pouches by Uchu Meade, Lead Clinical Pharmacist at St Mark's Hospital.

Sue Clark, Ellie Bradshaw, Evi Kyriakidou and Bhavisha Shah also gave some fascinating talks at our Information Day on 15 May 2015.

To browse all our pouch videos, please visit the Red Lion Group YouTube channel.


Please download a PDF membership application form to join the Red Lion Group.

To subscribe to our mailing list click here.

To view our data privacy policy click here.


The 2018 Information Day will take place on Saturday 12 May 2018 at St. Mark's Hospital, Harrow.

Download 2018 Information Day Poster

2018 marks the 40th anniversary of the invention of the Pelvic Pouch at St. Mark's Hospital, and we are delighted to have Professor John Nicholls one of the pioneers and foremost experts on the subject as keynote speaker giving his personal reflections on 40 years of the pouch operation.

You can download the  Agenda by clicking on the link below.

Download the programme for 2018 information day.

You can download a Registration form by clicking the link below.

Download a Registration form for 2018 information day.

Last years event was a great success attended by 54 people (excluding Committee members and Presenters).

Recordings of presentations from last years Information Day can be viewed on the web site. 

Please note, the latest edition of ROAR! contains an incorrect date for the information day.

The correct date is Saturday 12 May 2018.

For further information please contact

Susan Burrows
Membership secretary


Share your experiences of having a pouch or seek support in our online pouch forum.


Visit our YouTube channel to learn all about pouches.