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Membership Matters

Trust wins award for bowel disease test

A special test, the faecal calprotectin diagnostic test, has been introduced to help doctors to identify which bowel conditions can be treated by GPs and which will need specialist hospital treatment. The test can distinguish between inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis which can involve an operation, and non-inflammatory bowel diseases, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

James Turvill, Consultant Gastroenterologist, explained:  “Faecal calprotectin is a marker of bowel inflammation and is normal in IBS but raised in IBD.  Using this new care pathway will mean most people with IBS will be diagnosed without the need for invasive tests.

“The diagnosis can be difficult for GPs as similar symptoms are present in both IBS and IBD.  This can result in many people with IBS having unnecessary hospital investigations before their condition is diagnosed. People can be tested when they see their GP which reduces the amount of patients who need to come to hospital for these investigations.”

Before the new testing method was introduced half of patients referred to hospital had a colonoscopy, but less than five percent were found to have IBD.  This puts a lot of pressure on endoscopy services as well as being a very expensive way to diagnose the condition.

Working with the Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network, James Turvill and his team have created a resource pack for GPs which is being used throughout the region and is expected to roll out nationally.  Feedback from GPs has been extremely positive.

Richard Stubbs, Interim Managing Director at the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN, commented:  “We are delighted to have won this Medipex NHS Innovation Award.

“As an Academic Health Science Network, we are committed to making it easier and quicker to implement innovations that are better for patients and deliver efficient and cost-effective treatments and services.

“It is a fantastic example of how we are working with our members to deliver service improvements for patients across the region.”

“It is a fantastic example of how we are working with our members to deliver service improvements for patients across the region.”

Richard Stubbs, Interim Managing Director at the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN

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