No Crohn’s nurse in Trust

JUST one nurse specialises in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) in Northern Ireland although the Western and other health trusts are expected to have specialist nurses in place by the end of 2011/12.

Health Minister Edwin Poots advised that at September 2011 there was 1 (0.33 Whole-time Equivalent) nurse specialising in IBD based at Causeway Hospital.

Responding to an Assembly Question Mr Poots explained how the Health and Social Care Board will invest an additional £1.5m in biologic therapies this year to make further progress with the implementation of NICE guidance for the treatment of Crohn’s disease.

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“It is expected that by the end of 2011/12 Health and Social Care (HSC) Trusts should have increased the number of IBD clinical nurse specialists so that there is 0.5WTE in each of the Northern, Southern, Western and South Eastern HSC Trusts and 0.75 WTE in the Belfast HSC Trust, that is 2.75WTE in total. This will provide an enhanced level of care for patients with severe IBD,” he explained.