The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and Crohn’s & Colitis UK have collaboratively launched the flare pathways for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, with the aim of assisting general practitioners (GPs) to support their patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in a better way.
The pathways are a part of the IBD Spotlight Project which is a joint initiative of the RCGP and Crohn’s & Colitis UK launched in 2017. The project’s goals include improving the detection and diagnosis of IBD, increasing the awareness of Crohn’s disease and colitis among GPs and helping them refer people with suspected IBD appropriately to secondary care following initial investigations.
It is most likely that patients with IBD will first contact their GPs when they experience a suspected flare; however, less than half of GPs are fully confident of managing a patient with a flare-up. The new flare pathways provide crucial recommendations on steroid intervention, dose escalation and when to refer to secondary care.
Apart from the RCGP, the pathways have been endorsed by the British Society for Gastroenterology and the Primary Care Society for Gastroenterology. Dr Kevin Barrett, Clinical Champion for the IBD Spotlight Project said: "These pathways have been co-created with patients, GPs, IBD nurse specialists and gastroenterologists, and, with the endorsement from three key organisations, they are a credible resource that we hope primary care professionals will start using immediately."