Patients & Healthcare Professionals join forces to drive up standards of IBD care across Wales

11 May 2017

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Crohn’s and Colitis UK, working with the Welsh Association for Gastroenterology and Endoscopy (WAGE), are excited to launch IBD Cymru.

IBD Cymru - made up of health care professionals and patients - will champion improvements to Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) services across Wales. Previous clinical audits of IBD services have identified variable levels of care and support across the country. 

People with IBD surveyed about their experience of care in 2015 reported that 42% did not have access to an IBD nurse, over half had to wait more than 24 hours for advice from a healthcare professional when experiencing a flare up and nearly a quarter were not satisfied with the advice they received.

Clinicians working in Wales surveyed more recently (2017) also identified a number of areas for service development, such as improving rapid access to specialist clinics and IBD nursing support, improving diagnosis and management of IBD in primary care and increasing access to psychological support.

Informed by patient and clinical experience and working with both local and national policy makers, the Group will focus its energy in a number of areas over the next 12 months, including:

  • improving the early identification, referral and management of IBD in primary care
  • improving paediatric services
  • redefining and refocusing the role of specialist IBD nurses
  • improving patient education & support and ability to self-manage
  • improving access to elective surgery  

The Group’s membership is made up of leading gastroenterologists, colorectal surgeons, clinical nurse specialists, dietitians and patients.

Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease have the right to timely access to the services and support to help them manage what is often a chronic illness with significant flare-ups.  The newly formed IBD Wales will act as an enabler to ensure this across Wales

Professor Jared Torkington, President of WAGE

We believe today’s announcement is a pivotal moment for IBD services across Wales and the thousands of people and their families affected by these devastating conditions. IBD Cymru- which brings a multitude of experience and expertise- will be a focal point for driving change and partnership building. We very much look forward to working with health service providers and policy makers to realise our vision of high quality and accessible IBD care

Elaine Steven, Crohns & Colitis UK

Being diagnosed with this incurable, long-term condition as a young adult was life-changing. Awareness of Inflammatory Bowel Disease and its impact is low and because it involves talking about poo there is an associated social stigma, which can be very isolating. I joined IBD Wales to help challenge people’s perception of the disease, increase understanding and improve care and support for patients like myself in Wales

Zara Evans, Patient representative on the IBD Wales Group

If you are a clinician working in Wales and would like to kept up to date about the work of the IBD Cymru please email 

If you are affected by IBD and would like to follow or promote the work of IBD Cymru please use the hashtag #IBDWales