Rapid access to specialist review

Rapid access to specialist review

Statement 4.3

Rapid access to specialist advice should be available to patients to guide early flare intervention, including access to a telephone/email advice line with response by the end of the next working day.

Statement 4.4

Patients with IBD should have access to review by the IBD team within a maximum of five working days and be able to escalate/start a treatment plan within 48 hours of review.

Why is it important?

As almost half of IBD patients experience at least one flare each year, prompt access to advice and support is very important.

An IBD flare can present with a broad range of signs and symptoms. When specialists are able to assess these worsening symptoms early, they can create a timely and effective treatment plan. This can reduce the risk of complications, including excessive steroid use and unscheduled emergency department attendances.

For patients, a flare can be a very worrying experience. Fast access to healthcare teams who know them can help provide important support and reassurance.

All patients should know how to recognise a potential flare and who to contact. IBD service advice lines can be an important route for this, and it’s essential that these are staffed appropriately by trained personnel ­– and that patients know about them.

Further information

Find out more about IBD advice lines

During my flare up, it would have been great to know that I could call my specialist and someone would get back to me to answer my questions and concerns

Online survey respondent