The Southern Health and Social Care Trust has launched a campaign to raise awareness of IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease).
Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis – IBD, affects over 260,000 people the UK. Symptoms vary from person to person and also over time with patients often having periods of good health and then suffering flare ups when symptoms get worse.
The Southern area has the only active IBD Patient Panel in Northern Ireland which works closely with Trust staff to help improve services for patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
Specialist IBD Nurse for the Trust Ruth Hall who is Chair of the Panel explains: “With the most common symptoms being abdominal pain, diarrhoea, fatigue and weight loss, IBD can be debilitating and embarrassing to live with. There is no cure at the moment but we offer a range of medical and surgical treatments from Daisy Hill and Craigavon hospitals to help keep symptoms under control and reduce the chance of flare-ups.
“Because IBD is long term, patients become experts in their own condition, so we want to listen and learn as much as we can from them in terms of how well our services are working and where there is room for improvement.
“The IBD Patient Panel is a platform for service users to share experiences and ideas with staff and act as a sounding board for future developments. They have and will continue to be involved in improving the planning, development and delivery of services for people with IBD and we hope that this partnership will help us to create a truly patient focused service and achieve the best possible quality of life for those living with IBD.”
The IBD Patient Panel meets quarterly and always welcomes new members or if you are interested in finding out more about or joining the Patient Panel contact Ruth Hall Tel: 07788726875 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information on IBD visit www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk
Pictured at a recent inflammatory bowel disease awareness event organised by the IBD Patient Panel are Sandra Burns, Nurse Manager for the Southern Trust, Dr Andrew Murdock, Consultant Gastroenterologist, Sinead Hughes, Personal and Public Involvement Officer, Southern Trust, Patricia Henderson, IBD Patient Panel, Ruth Hall, IBD Nurse and Alex Davidson, IBD Patient Panel.