Access to an IBD Nurse Specialist

Access to an IBD Nurse Specialist

Statement 6.9

All IBD inpatients should have access to an IBD nurse specialist.

Why is it important?

Being admitted to hospital with Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis can be a very worrying time.

This anxiety can be reduced when patients, carers and families feel able to raise issues or concerns that are important to them. But that’s hard when multiple teams and clinicians are involved in care and decision-making processes during an inpatient admission. This complexity can make communication difficult.

That’s why having access to an IBD Nurse Specialist is so important at this time. It can help give patients better continuity of care and improved coordination, as well as education and support for them and their families/carers.

In fact, evidence suggests that a patient’s length of hospital stay may be reduced by the involvement of an IBD Nurse Specialist in care and follow-up. Patients also feel more supported to go home with a clear understanding about what will happen next during the transition between inpatient and outpatient care.

I’ve really valued support from the IBD Nurse Specialist when I’ve been in hospital, as they have more time to explain treatment plans than the consultant doing ward rounds.

Respondent to IBD Standards survey

Specialist nurses are often the pivot in the team and help coordinate journeys across the full patient pathway.

Julie Duncan, IBD nurse manager at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust