A group of health professionals and patients from South London aims to establish the area’s first independent patient panel for people suffering from debilitating bowel conditions, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The new panel at St George’s Hospital, Tooting, will be launched at a public event on 16th October, where it is hoped volunteers will come forward to take part in the group.

Patient panels, or their equivalent, exist for a number of conditions in the UK and there are currently around twenty in Britain specifically for sufferers of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Dr Andy Poullis, Consultant Gastroenterologist at St George’s, was instrumental in laying the foundations for the group, with support from other IBD specialists and members of Crohn’s and Colitis UK.

Dr Poullis said: “We hope that a number of patients will come together to share their views to identify how local services could be strengthened. Often patients are reluctant to express opinions to their doctor about the service provided so it is important that they have a forum where they can have their say. The input from these patients will have the potential to drive change at the trust and garner support for new developments and services.”

Ruth Findlay, an outpatient at St George’s from Tooting Bec, said: “Patients here are being given a great opportunity to have their views heard. It means we can help to provide the St George’s team with a picture of how it is to be on the receiving end of things and help strengthen their hand when they want to make change. Small observations may have the potential to make considerable impact.”

The inaugural event is open to IBD patients at St George’s Hospital, their friends and families, and other interested healthcare professionals who work in the South London area. The launch is being held in the John Parker lecture theatre in the Atkinson Morley wing on Saturday 16th October from 2pm – 4.30pm. Arthur Smith, the writer and comedian, is also lending his support to the group and will be present at the event.

Notes to editors

  1. For more information, please contact the communications unit on 020 8725 5151 or email communications@stgeorges.nhs.uk.Outside working hours, please page the team by calling 0844 822 2888, leaving a short message and contact details for pager SG548.
  2. To find out more about IBD patient panels please visit the Crohn’s and Colitis UK websitewww.nacc.org.uk/content/about/patientPanels.asp

Inflammatory bowel disease

In medicine, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a group of inflammatory conditions of the colon and small intestine. The major types of IBD are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Crohn’s and Colitis UK

Formerly known as the National Association for Colitis and Crohn’s Disease (NACC), Crohn’s and Colitis UK aims to improve life for people affected by Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). The charity brings together people of all ages who have been diagnosed with IBD, their families and the health professionals involved in their care.