Statement 4.2

All patients with IBD should be provided with clear information to support self-management and early intervention in the case of a flare.

Why is it important?

When an IBD patient is having a flare-up, it’s essential for them to understand what they can do to help themselves. Self-management gives them an active role in their healthcare, empowering them to take more control of their condition and is part of a broader shift in health towards shared responsibility.

How can we support patients self-manage?

In Scotland, Crohn’s & Colitis UK has partnered with the Scottish Government Modern Outpatient Programme and a working group of patients and healthcare professionals to co-produce a patient flare card. It helps people to recognise signs of a flare, gives simple steps to follow during a suspected flare, includes information on dose escalation for 5 ASAs, and prompts patients to ask their GP to test for faecal biomarkers. It also advises patients about medications that should not be stopped or altered without discussion with the IBD team.

These cards will be rolled out in autumn 2019 as a useful resource for patients.

You can read more about support for self-management under Ongoing Care and Monitoring.

Guidance and further information

Crohn’s & Colitis UK’s position statement on self-management sets out the vital components for good self-management of IBD. This includes access to tools, plans and support to manage treatments, symptoms, and flare-ups.

I’m often so busy telling myself to crack on that I don’t recognise when I’m unwell – and I can start to slip into a flare up before I’ve noticed. It’s hard to recognise when I’m sick and what’s ‘normal’.

Respondent to 2017 Crohn’s & Colitis UK self-management survey