27 Apr 2021

A new report, published today by the IBD UK alliance, of which the BDA is a member, has highlighted a worrying lack of services for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) patients, with no services anywhere in the UK providing a complete multidisciplinary team as recommended by national standards. IBD is a complex, often debilitating condition affecting all aspects of someone’s life, physical and emotional, where the support of a full multidisciplinary care team is crucial.

Crohn’s and Colitis Care in the UK: The Hidden Cost and a Vision for Change, sets out the quality of IBD care based on a unique and comprehensive assessment by both patients and services against the IBD Standards 2019.  Created with input from patients, healthcare professionals and professional bodies including the BDA, sets out a range of key recommendations to improve the care provided to IBD patients. This includes the provision of a specialist dietitian, IBD nurse specialist and psychologist for every IBD service.

Katie Keetarut RD, IBD Specialist Dietitian and BDA representative to IBD UK said “The report highlights a worrying lack of specialist dietetic support for IBD patients, with only 7% of IBD services across the UK reported as having enough dietitians to meet the IBD Standards. Less than half of those responding to the survey felt that they had access to the advice or support with diet and nutrition that they needed, and when advice was provided it was often not sufficiently thorough or accurate.

“Commissioners and managers should ensure that every IBD service is resourced to meet the full staffing requirements. Provision of a Dietitian with expertise in management of IBD is crucial to ensure patients get the right information and properly tailored support. If acted upon, these recommendations could vastly improve the experience and outcomes for people with IBD."

“Malnutrition is common in IBD and is a risk factor for complications after surgery. Given the extent of malnutrition in people with IBD, it’s shocking that only 28% of respondents to the IBD Patient Survey reported that signs of malnutrition and/or nutritional deficiencies were assessed at diagnosis”.

Update 10 May 2021 

As well as supporting the launch of this report, the BDA has joined IBD UK members in calling on governments across the UK to support better care for everyone living with Crohn's and Colitis. Read our open letter to the Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

Notes to editor

  • The IBDUK report, Crohn’s and Colitis Care in the UK: The Hidden Cost and a Vision for Change, launched on April 27th 2021 is based on over 10,000 responses to the UK-wide IBD Patient Survey and participation from 72% of IBD services in the Service Self-Assessment between July 2019 and January 2020 and provides a unique picture of IBD care, benchmarked against the IBD Standards.
  • Local service reports were published in March 2020 and are available from Services Map | IBD UK.
  • IBD UK is an alliance of 17 professional associations, royal colleges and patient organisations, including the BDA, working in IBD across the UK.  IBD UK’s aim is to ensure that everyone with IBD has access to safe, consistent, high-quality, personalised care, whatever their age and wherever they live in the UK.