Why build an IBD team?

A patient with an IBD Nurse Specialist

Specialist care for people with IBD promotes patient wellbeing as well as reducing pressure on other departments.

A patient with an IBD Nurse Specialist

The 2006 audit of IBD services found notable inconsistency in standards of care across the country. In response to this, the national IBD Standards were developed to define the benchmark for IBD services.

Some benefits of the presence of IBD Nurse Specialists:

  • Reduction of clinical risk to patients
  • Reduction in the use of A&E and primary care for IBD emergencies
  • Consultancy time for non-specialists is freed up
  • Telephone clinics reduce the need for face-to-face follow-up appointments
  • Medical and dietary interventions may reduce the number of necessary surgical interventions.

Crohn's and Colitis UK places great value on the role of Specialist IBD Nurse Specialists and recognises that better access to IBD Nurse Specialists means better care for patients across the UK.

The IBD Standards

We know that care for people with Crohn’s and Colitis can vary quite a lot and this needs to change. 

Some people are supported by a team of IBD specialists, involved in decisions about their ongoing care and have access to services like psychological and dietetic support. Whereas others can wait a long time for their diagnosis, can struggle to know what to do when in a flare and feel they don’t know who to turn to when they need advice.

Because of these variations in care, Crohn’s & Colitis UK helped form IBD UK, a partnership of 17 patient and professional organisations, including the British Society of Gastroenterology, the Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Physicians. IBD UK’s aim is that everyone, wherever they live and whatever they age, should receive safe, consistent, high-quality and personalised care. 

To make sure this happens, IBD UK have developed the IBD Standards. These are a framework of statements that set out what high-quality care looks like at every point of the patient journey, from pre-diagnosis, to surgery and ongoing care.

Want to get involved in research?

The best quality research happens when people with Crohn's and Colitis are involved, and you can make a difference at every stage of research.


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Helpline service


We know it can be difficult to live with, or support someone living with these conditions. But you’re not alone. We provide up-to-date, evidence-based information and can support you to live well with Crohn’s or Colitis.

Our helpline team can help by:

  • Providing information about Crohn’s and Colitis.

  • Listening and talking through your situation.

  • Helping you to find support from others in the Crohn’s and Colitis community.

  • Signposting you to specialist organisations.

Please be aware we’re not medically or legally trained. We cannot provide detailed financial or benefits advice or specialist emotional support.

Please contact us via telephone, email or LiveChat - 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (except English bank holidays).

Live chat

If you need specific medical advice about your condition, your GP or IBD team will be best placed to help.

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