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Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Health Services

Question for Department of Health

UIN 118100, tabled on 7 December 2017

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to increase the proportion of patients with inflammatory bowel disease who receive support and information in primary care and acute care to enable them to self-manage.

Answered on

12 December 2017

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is the collective name used to describe ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. To support commissioners to deliver local services for people with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published, ‘Crohn’s Disease Management in Adults, Children and Young People’, updated in May 2016, and, ‘Ulcerative Colitis Management in Adults, Children and Young People’, in June 2013.

The NICE Crohn’s clinical guideline makes clear that minimising psychological concerns and possible side effects of treatment are a key part of best practice for all people with Crohn's disease. The NICE Ulcerative Colitis clinical guideline highlights psychological support as being particularly important if a patient is considering surgery for their disease, and post-operatively, when surgery has taken place. Patient education, information and support are priorities in both guidelines. This can cover important information about diet and lifestyle, treatment and side-effects, as well signposting to support groups and other relevant services. Both guidelines can be found at the following links:

The IBD audit programme was established over 10 years ago with the aim of improving the quality and safety of care for people with IBD throughout the United Kingdom and during this time it has delivered important improvements against NICE standards. Audit reports have covered both treatment and patient experience, the latter of which captured information about quality of information and support at discharge, to help drive improvement in this area. In 2015, eight regional service improvement workshops were conducted by the IBD programme team to share expertise and examples of best practice, and to develop action plans to implement and evaluate improvement in IBD services. Attended by clinicians from across the country, a range of improvement initiatives were taken forward as a result, including around patient information and self-management. The report evaluating this important work and more information on the audit can be found at the following link:

Answered by

Department of Health and Social Care
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