Inflammatory Bowel Disease – Self-management programme

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What is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)?

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic disease with periods of both remission and relapse. It is recognised that prearranged clinic appointments are unlikely to correspond with periods when you feel unwell and it may then be difficult to arrange extra visits and this could mean delays in your treatment. Having has IBD for some time, you will be aware of the things that make your condition better or worse, and an idea of what drugs work best for you.

What is self-management?

Self-management is a healthcare model that focuses on educating patients to monitor and manage disease symptoms, comply with and tailor treatment regimes, and manage the impact the disease has upon their daily life. As the patient you know your body and therefore are the best person to take control of your disease.

What is a self-management programme?

This is a programme where together with a doctor, we explore the history of your illness, identify the symptoms that you associate with a ‘relapse’ and draw up an action plan that allows you to state suitable treatment as soon as you feel unwell. This way you manage your disease promptly and hopefully reduce the risk of a serious relapse.

What about my medical care?

You will no longer continue to be routinely followed up in a hospital setting; you will not receive routine appointments to be seen in an outpatient clinic. Once a treatment plan has been drawn up, a copy will also go to your GP and into your hospital records. This way you can get prescriptions for treatment easily.

When should I contact my IBD team?

  • You fail to improve in response to the treatment plan
  • Your symptoms deteriorate despite treatment
  • Relapses occur within two months of treatment reduction
  • Rectal bleeding occurs between relapses
  • You lose weight unintentionally
  • You experience abdominal symptoms not typical of a relapse
  • You experience two consecutive flare-ups requiring oral steroid treatment
  • You wish to discuss your disease management at any time

If you need to be seen in the hospital, an outpatient appointment will be arranged following a referral from your GP. In an emergency, you will be able to contact your GP in the usual way.

If you would like to speak to someone from the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Nursing Team, please use the contact details below:

phone: 01908 996 955

email: [email protected]