Dr Edward Despott


Consultant Gastroenterologist

Dr Edward J. Despott is the Trust-wide Service Line Lead for Endoscopy at the Royal Free Unit for Endoscopy, Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust and UCL Institute for Liver and Digestive Health (Royal Free campus) in Hampstead, London. Through this position, he is in charge of endoscopy services delivered at 3 hospitals comprising the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, namely The Royal Free Teaching Hospital, and Barnet, and Chase Farm Hospitals. He is a consultant gastroenterologist and advanced gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopist whose specialist interests include device assisted enteroscopy (double-balloon enteroscopy (DBE) in particular), capsule endoscopy (CE), therapeutic colonoscopy (particularly complex polypectomy including large endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) and endoscopic submucosal dissection ESD)) and transnasal upper GI endoscopy. He is also interested in the diagnosis and management of inflammatory bowel disease and related complications (such as endoscopic management of small bowel and colonic strictures). Since his appointment in 2012, Dr Despott instigated significant advances at the Royal Free Unit for Endoscopy by making it one of the only 2 centres in London (and one of a handful in the UK) to offer a comprehensive small bowel endoscopy service including DBE and the development of a tertiary advanced polypectomy service.

Dr Despott is regularly invited to speak and perform live endoscopy demonstrations at national and international meetings and was recently awarded a bursary by the Japanese GI Endoscopy Society (JGES) to present his work at the 85th JGES Congress held in Kyoto, Japan in May 2013.The British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG) has also recently awarded Dr Despott another travelling fellowship to Japan and throughout the month of November 2012 he underwent further training in advanced GI endoscopic techniques including ESD and therapeutic DBE at the National Cancer Centre in Tokyo and the Jichi Medical University, Tochigi Japan, under the direct mentorship of Dr Yutaka Saito and Prof Hironori Yamamoto, respectively. In 2007 Dr Despott was also awarded a prestigious scholarship to undergo advanced endoscopy training (particularly in DBE, CE and advanced therapeutic colonoscopy) at the Wolfson Unit for Endoscopy at St Mark’s Hospital and Academic Institute (a World Endoscopy Organisation (WEO) centre of excellence). He spent a total of 3½ years of dedicated endoscopy training at the Wolfson Unit at St Mark’s, during which time he also undertook formal research at the same institution and Imperial College London towards an MD(Research) thesis entitled ‘Advancing Minimally Invasive Aspects of Digestive Endoscopy’. He continues to be actively involved in endoscopic research and currently forms part of the European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE) guidelines committee for small bowel endoscopy. Dr Despott has published numerous (>20) scientific peer-reviewed papers, several book chapters and review articles and regularly acts as a referee for scientific journals of high impact. His work is also regularly accepted for oral presentation at national and international conferences. He also maintains an active interest in endoscopy education and teaches on several hands-on endoscopy courses, and forms part of the faculty of the ‘European Capsule Endoscopy Course’ (also endorsed by the BSG and American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE)).

Dr Despott qualified from the University of Malta in 1999, after which he moved to the UK to pursue higher specialist training in gastroenterology and GI endoscopy. He obtained MRCP(UK) in 2003 and subsequently trained in gastroenterology in the North East Thames rotation of the London Deanery School of Medicine. He obtained MRCP(Gastro) in 2010 and on completion of his higher specialist training, he was appointed to the attending consultant staff at the Royal Free in 2012, where he immediately established new advanced endoscopy services. In 2013 he was appointed to the position of Clinical Lead of Endoscopy and in 2014 (on acquisition of Barnet and Chase Farm hospitals by the Royal Free), he was put in charge of all endoscopy services delivered at the Trust’s 3 hospitals.

He is an active member of the BSG, ESGE, ASGE and the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation (ECCO) and was elected as a Fellow of the European Board of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (FEBGH) in 2012. Dr Despott also enjoys painting seascapes in oils, photography and deep-sea fishing.

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Hospital Locations

Royal Free Hospital

Languages spoken



  • Gastroenterology


  • BSG
  • ESGE
  • ASGE
  • European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation (ECCO)

Registration and licensing


Special interests

Dr Despotts main specialist interest is advanced GI endoscopy including:

  • Device assisted enteroscopy (double-balloon enteroscopy (DBE) in particular)
  • Capsule endoscopy (CE)
  • Therapeutic colonoscopy (particularly complex polypectomy including large endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR)) and transnasal upper GI endoscopy.
  • Dr Despott is also interested in the diagnosis and management of inflammatory bowel disease and related complications such as Endoscopic management of small bowel and colonic strictures.

Dr Edward Despott, Consultant Gastroenterologist is available to be seen for consultations at Royal Free London