Specialist ward & care

Specialist ward & care

Statement 6.1

Patients requiring inpatient care relating to their IBD should be admitted directly, or transferred within 24-48 hours, to a designated specialist ward area under the care of a consultant gastroenterologist and/or colorectal surgeon.

Why is it important?

Being on a designated specialist ward and having daily review by a consultant gastroenterologist are both essential components of giving people with IBD access to the right expertise and facilities. This will also give them a better experience, as they will be with patients with similar conditions.

Gastroenterology and colorectal surgical facilities should be in close proximity on a hospital site. Colorectal surgeons and theatres should also be available with on-call service, as well as 9-5 weekdays. In case of complications and rapid deterioration, there must also be 24-hour access to intensive care facilities on site.

Access to an IBD nurse specialist can be incredibly important for patients at what is frequently an anxious time. The IBD team should be on hand for appropriate discharge planning and follow up.

An additional advantage of staying on a gastroenterology ward is that there should be better access to toilets which is a key consideration for people with IBD. This alone can make a significant difference to their inpatient experience.

I’ve stayed on a ‘normal ward’ where the nurses and doctors didn’t really understand the support I needed. It’s totally different when you’re in a GI ward and everyone knows what you need.

Respondent to IBD Standards survey