Communication and information sharing

Communication and information sharing

Statement 7.5

Any reviews and changes of treatment in primary or secondary care should be clearly recorded and communicated to all relevant parties within 48 hours.

Statement 7.6

Patients or parents/carers should be offered copies of clinical correspondence relating to their/their child’s treatment and care.

Why is it important?

Good joined-up care only happens when GPs and specialists share timely and appropriate information about their IBD patients. This should include treatment and management details. IBD Nurse Specialists play a key role in facilitating good coordination between primary and secondary care through all stages of a patient’s journey with IBD – from diagnosis through to ongoing care and monitoring.

To underpin this coordinated care, it’s essential to have a secure system for sharing information about test results or treatment changes. This should be managed through IT, written communication between the GP and hospital, or patient-held records (or a combination of these as appropriate).

Required information in correspondence from secondary to primary care includes:

  • Main diagnosis/diagnoses, specifying type and location of IBD and date of diagnosis
  • Date(s) of surgery
  • Secondary diagnosis/diagnoses e.g. anaemia/vitamin D deficiency/osteoporosis/ extraintestinal manifestations
  • Date of last endoscopy with findings and date of next planned/routine endoscopy
  • Date of next planned contact with secondary care
  • Current medical therapy including any previous treatments with thiopurines, methotrexate or biologics and reasons for discontinuation
  • Recommended length of current medical therapy
  • Treatment recommendations in case of a flare – mesalazine/prednisolone/budesonide/calcium and vitamin D and who to contact if treatment is initiated in primary care
  • Contact details for the IBD team/service
  • RCGP IBD Toolkit for further advice and guidance for primary care.

All correspondence should be copied to patients, and/or parents/carers, and recorded in the patient’s care plan.

A person-centred, integrated approach to providing services is fundamental to delivering high-quality care to people with IBD.

NICE Inflammatory Bowel Disease Quality Standard