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Nurses back 'manifesto' to improve iron deficiency anaemia care

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Nurses are backing a new ‘manifesto’ intended to address shortfalls in iron deficiency anaemia care.

The “anaemia manifesto” was launched at Westminster yesterday, backed by MPs and championed by 12 healthcare professionals and charity representatives.

It sets out a five-point plan to address suboptimal variations in the management of iron deficiency anaemia (IDA).

  1. Define overarching best practice principles
  2. Tailor services locally
  3. Develop the evidence base
  4. Educate HCPs and patients
  5. Define and measure success

The document (see PDF below), which is described as a call to action, was authored by a collaboration of top UK healthcare professionals and charities, with funding from Vifor Pharma UK.

As well as medical consultants, authors include representatives from the British Kidney Patient Association, Crohn’s and Colitis UK, Kidney Research UK and Iain Wittwer, a specialist nurse practitioner at Churchill Hospitals in Oxford.

They said that, if acted upon, could potentially save over 8,000 hospital bed stays and over £8m in NHS spending each year.

Measures can also be put in place to ensure that patients with IDA are diagnosed earlier, given appropriate treatment and followed up in the long-term.

Those behind the manifesto said management of IDA across England was inconsistent, with up to a five-fold variation in emergency admissions for IDA between clinical commissioning groups.

There are now more than 17,000 such admissions every year but many people remain undiagnosed or are not appropriately treated after initial diagnosis.

Oliver Colvile, MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, said: “There is an urgent need for government to recognise not only the savings the NHS can make, but also the benefits to patients that could be achieved by addressing emergency admissions for treatable conditions such as IDA.

“We need to work together to alleviate the pressure on our accident and emergency departments wherever possible,” he said.

Anaemia Nurse Specialist Association

Nurses call for better iron deficiency anaemia care

The launch of the manifesto

Marie Chowrimootoo, anaemia nurse specialist and president of the Anaemia Nurse Specialist Association, said she was pleased to support the manifesto.

“Our work has established a platform for healthcare professionals to share best practice and achieve best patient outcomes in anaemia service provision in the UK,” she said,

“The manifesto provides feasible and achievable guidance on how to address the variations across clinical practices that currently exist,” said Ms Chowrimootoo.

She added: “As specialist nurses we have the autonomy and duty of care to contribute positively to the implementation of these steps wherever possible.”

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