Multidisciplinary working

Multidisciplinary working

Statement 5.1

Patients should have access to coordinated surgical and medical clinical expertise, including regular combined or parallel clinics with a specialist colorectal surgeon (paediatric colorectal surgeon where appropriate) and IBD gastroenterologist.

Effective communication and coordination between the different specialists involved in a patient’s care. It sounds simple but this is an essential component to ensure high quality service provision for IBD patients. It should include combined medical/surgical clinics and inpatient ward rounds with a specialist colorectal surgeon and IBD gastroenterologist.

Joint medical/surgical clinic review and discussion at multidisciplinary team meetings is important for good patient outcomes – especially for those who have recently been diagnosed with IBD, where surgery was undertaken at diagnosis or early surgical treatment is possible.

There should also be direct referral to a gastroenterologist for people with IBD who have been referred through the cancer pathways, and ongoing medical follow-up for all patients who have had surgery (with surgical follow-up also where required).

Specialist nurses play an important role in providing information, support and holistic care before and after surgery, including on the potential impact on lifestyle and approaches to long-term management.

Dietitians, pharmacists and other members of the team can also help ensure patients are as well physically prepared as possible ahead of an operation. This involvement will minimise the risk of complications and aid recovery. Psychologists can offer essential emotional support to help people cope with what can be a very anxious time, when a lot of difficult feelings may arise.

After my emergency surgery, I’d have liked more detailed dietary advice and to see the same nurse and consultants. When you’re feeling confused, you want people who know your history and talk to each other.

IBD Standards survey respondent