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Rise in access to IBD specialist nurses

There has been a 10% increase in the number of UK hospitals with access to inflammatory bowel disease nurse specialists over the past three years, according to an audit.

The IBD Audit, which covered 202 adult sites and 24 paediatric sites, was commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership. It is the third such audit – the first having been carried out in 2008.

The results, published today, reveal national results from the adult 2010 audit which measured adult IBD services as of 1 September 2010.

They show more adult sites than before have some access to specialist IBD nurses – 72% compared to 62% in 2008.

However, most still have less than one and a half nurses per 250,000 of the population, a requirement recommended in IBD National Service Standards – launched in February 2009.

The audit also shows there has been a rapid expansion in the provision of dedicated gastrointestinal wards, now seen in 90% of sites compared with 77% in 2008.

Additionally, multidisciplinary working is widespread, with three quarters of sites having IBD multidisciplinary team meetings.

National results have also been published from the paediatric 2010 audit, which measured paediatric IBD services as of last September.

The results showed there has been a significant increase in the median number of whole time equivalent paediatric gastroenterology and IBD nurse specialists at each site, from one in 2008 to 1.5 in 2010.

Additionally, 83% of sites now have at least some paediatric gastroenterology or IBD nurse specialist provision, compared with just 61% in 2008.

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