__MAIN_TEXT__
feature-image

Page 1

NHD CPD eArticle Volume 9.02 - 8th February 2019

IBS: SETTING UP A PATIENT SERVICE

IBS is a long-term condition affecting the digestive tract. It can most commonly cause symptoms such as abdominal discomfort, an altered bowel habit and bloating, and can have a huge impact on a patient’s quality of life. It is known that diet and lifestyle factors play a huge role in managing symptoms, hence why NICE guidance on management of IBS suggests the use of avoidance and exclusion diets to only be advised by a healthcare professional with expertise in dietary management.1 When looking at the low-FODMAP diet more specifically, which is used as second-line treatment for IBS, studies have supported dietitians being the healthcare professionals to deliver the dietary guidance, stating that dietitians have an extensive knowledge of nutrition, health and disease and are the leading experts in educating patients on disease-specific dietary management, including IBS.2 One study concluded that dietetic-led implementation of the low-FODMAP diet is an effective strategy for the management of IBS and that the trend for non-dieteticled implementation of the diet is of concern, as there is no evidence of the clinical effectiveness or risks associated with such practices. The study also stressed the importance

Rebecca has a keen interest and specialises in gastroenterology dietetics. She currently works in the community setting in the Chester area, running clinics and group sessions to manage a wide range of gastroenterology conditions.

The IBS pathway discussed in this article can be viewed at www. NHDmag. com/ibspathway.html

of dietetic-led management in IBS needing an increased recognition in clinical practice.2 Despite the evidence, it is thought that IBS referrals account for up to 60% of outpatient gastroenterology referrals.3,4 By using a thorough referral system to rule out other potential gastrointestinal causes, a dietetic-led clinic with access to a gastroenterologist is suitable to manage this patient group. AIMS OF THE IBS SERVICE

The aim of the IBS service at Chester was to ultimately reduce the pressure from the gastroenterology consultants, who were finding that a large amount of their clinical time was being spent with IBS patients. They would often refer these patients onto the dietitians after seeing them initially. Reducing consultant pressure would lead to a reduction in consultant wait times, as well as patient wait times to be treated, with the aim that patient satisfaction would, therefore, increase. The pathway also hoped to reduce unnecessary investigations, such as colonoscopies. The policy aimed for patients to be seen within four weeks of receiving the referral, and that they would be seen by a dietitian before, or instead of, seeing a consultant. It was made

Rebecca Gasche Registered Dietitian, Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Trust

When I started my post in April 2016, my initial task was to help set up a dietetic-led irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) service. Following on from successful dietetic-led coeliac services, my Trust wanted to create a similar pathway for patients with IBS, to help reduce pressures in secondary care, wait times and improve patient outcomes.

Copyright Š 2019 NH Publishing Ltd - All rights reserved. Available for printing and sharing for the use of CPD activities for personal use. Not for reproduction for publishing purposes without written permission from NH Publishing Ltd.


Volume 9.02 - 8th February 2019

The aim of the IBS service at Chester was to ultimately reduce the pressure from the gastroenterology consultants . . .

Any patient presenting with IBS symptoms alongside one or more red flags were to be referred directly into secondary care. As well as assessing for red flags, patients would be seen by the dietitian on the basis that the following tests had been ordered and returned within normal range:

These could be completed by the referrer or the dietitian once the referral had been received. We ensured that our policy allowed the dietitian to order any bloods/stool samples that had not been checked, to avoid having to reject referrals for this reason and allow patients to be seen sooner. Testing for these bloods/stool samples helps to rule out conditions which present similarly to IBS, such as coeliac disease, inflammatory bowel disease or infections. Once the policy was approved by the gastroenterology and dietetics teams, and had gone through the relevant governance meetings, the next step was to set up the clinics in which these patients would be seen. Logistics of finding clinic rooms, dates, times and admin letters attached to the clinics all takes time! The service began with two clinics per week, 30 minutes for each patient for both an initial or review. A lot of work went into promoting the service in primary care, working closely with the clinical commissioning group (CCG), encouraging GPs to

First and foremost, the policy had to be written and agreed with the gastroenterology team. We knew that if the dietitians were to see these patients instead of the consultants, it was crucial that thorough screening methods were in place to ensure that patients weren’t misdiagnosed. The NICE guidance emphasises the importance of excluding other diagnoses in patients presenting with symptoms of IBS.1 Therefore, we requested that those referring into the service had to ensure that all patients presenting with symptoms, such as abdominal pain or discomfort, bloating and/or a change in bowel habit for at least six months, were assessed for the following ‘red flags’: • unintentional and unexplained weight loss; • rectal bleeding; • a family history of bowel or ovarian cancer, or signs and symptoms of cancer in line with the NICE guidance on recognition and referral for suspected cancer; • anaemia; • aged over 50 years.

• tTGA • TFTs • Faecal calprotectin

LOGISTICS

• FBC • ESR • CRP

clear that patients must be screened for any ‘red flags’, and that the dietitians had the relevant specialist skill set to be able to identify abnormal results/symptoms and link in with the gastroenterology consultants when needed. If dietary manipulation did not improve a patient’s symptoms, they could be referred directly into secondary care, without delay to their care.

Copyright © 2019 NH Publishing Ltd - All rights reserved. Available for printing and sharing for the use of CPD activities for personal use. Not for reproduction for publishing purposes without written permission from NH Publishing Ltd.


OUTCOMES

A telephone clinic and low-FODMAP group sessions commenced in January 2018 and altered the pathway (visit www.NHDmag. com/IBSpatientservicepathway for more on

The IBS clinics ran from 2016-2017 and were proving a success in reducing wait times both for patients and consultants. However, as the service was promoted within the gastroenterology team, GPs and other community settings, the numbers of referrals increased. We opened additional clinics and set up an ‘opt-in’ appointment scheme to reduce the number of ‘did not attends’, but soon found that we were at our capacity and risked patients waiting longer than the four weeks set out in the IBS policy. Our next step was to look at treating patients in a group setting, which has proven to work well for other conditions such as coeliac disease and diabetes. Evidence from a number of studies demonstrates how group education enhances patient acceptability of a treatment through a sharing of experiences with others with similar conditions.5,6 One of the first studies to look at group session delivery of the low-FODMAP diet was conducted in 20137 and a further study in 20178 which had similar findings. Both studies found that the low-FODMAP diet group sessions reduced wait times and increased capacity, and that there was significant symptom relief from baseline to follow up. Ultimately, it was seen that dietitian-led FODMAP group education was clinically effective and that the costs associated with a FODMAP group pathway were worthy of further consideration for routine clinical care. The 2013 study did recognise that a significant minority attending the group sessions would have preferred one-on-one sessions, but also noted that there are several possible advantages to group sessions including peer-support and sharing of experiences.7

GROUP EDUCATION SESSIONS

the Chester IBS service). In setting up the group sessions, we saw a definite reduction in wait times. However, we have encountered other barriers, for example, some patients don’t want to engage in the group setting; some need that one-on-one appointment to help adapt their diet on an individual basis. This has emphasised the importance of correct triaging of patients for the group setting, and enabling those who are not suited for group education to be seen in a one-on-one appointment. On the other hand, we have had many patients who enjoyed the group setting. A particular quote has been: “It’s nice to meet other people who understand my condition”, and it has been great to hear patients share low-FODMAP recipe ideas and details of local support groups etc. As it stands, the groups will continue and we will continue to adapt them to be as user friendly as possible, given the improvement it has made with the wait times. So far, we have found the following outcomes: • 75% of patients seen in the service report that their symptoms have improved. • Wait times for patients to be seen reduced from ~12 weeks to ~4 weeks. • <7% of patients seen (n=17) required onward referral to a gastroenterologist. • The total number of IBS referrals to the dietitians increased by 142% from 2016-2017. • The number of referrals received from gastro consultants into the dietetic-led IBS service has increased by 103% since 2016, demonstrating that the consultants see the value of the dietetic input. • In 12 months (2017-2018) the dietetic-led IBS service has saved 161 new consultant appointments. • The service has proven to be cost effective and one that reduces pressure in secondary care by freeing up consultant time.

refer to the ‘dietitian first’. The consultants were aware to redirect any referrals they received, with no red flags, to the service, and they were also on hand to support the dietitian if required.

NHD CPD eArticle

THE FUTURE

Moving forward, the option of utilising dietitians as non-medical prescribers may further remove the need for consultant time, by allowing dietitians to manage those patients who are referred onto secondary care and who require more medical management of their condition. There are a number of medications that may be used with IBS

Copyright © 2019 NH Publishing Ltd - All rights reserved. Available for printing and sharing for the use of CPD activities for personal use. Not for reproduction for publishing purposes without written permission from NH Publishing Ltd.


Volume 9.02 - 8th February 2019

NHD CPD eArticle

patients, including antispasmodic agents, laxatives, linaclotide, loperamide, tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).1 If the pathway were to introduce a nonmedical prescribing dietitian, both skill sets of dietary management and medication can be utilised to optimise patient symptoms without the need for referring onto secondary care. In addition to this, the use of virtual clinics may further improve wait times and capacity, by capturing a large number of patients at one time. In January 2017, Somerset Partnership NHS Trust trialled the use of IBS group webinars to help capture more of their patients, as they found many were getting lost to follow up as a result of

low-FODMAP group sessions. Their conclusions showed positive results for using the webinars, with 82% of patients finding that their confidence in managing their IBS had increased after attending the webinar and 100% of patients stating they would recommend the webinar to a friend.9 The use of webinars within dietetic services has the potential to cost-save for the NHS, as printing/room costs are eliminated. They are also able to reach a vast number of patients at one time, providing patients with the tools to manage their symptoms independently and, therefore, preventing referrals into secondary care. Something to consider in not only IBS pathways, but all applicable services within the NHS.

References 1 National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (2008). Irritable bowel syndrome in adults: diagnosis and management. NICE Guideline CG61 2 Nanayakkara WS, Skidmore PM, O’Brien L, Wilkinson TJ, Gearry RB (2016). Efficacy of the low FODMAP diet for treating irritable bowel syndrome: the evidence to date. Clin Exp Gastroenterol. 9:131-142 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4918736/ 3 Jones R, Lydeard S. Irritable bowel syndrome in the general population. British Medical Journal 1992; 304: 87-90 4 Tally NJ, Zinmeister AR, van Dyke C, Melton LJ 3rd. Epidemiology of colonic symptoms and the irritable bowel syndrome. Gastroenterology 1991; 101: 927-934 5 Davies MJ, Heller S, Skinner TC et al (2008). Effectiveness of the diabetes education and self-management for ongoing and newly diagnosed (DESMOND) programme for people with newly diagnosed Type 2 diabetes: cluster randomised controlled trial. BMJ336, 491-495 6 Ringstrom G, Storsrud S and Simren M (2012). A comparison of a short nurse-based and a long multidisciplinary version of structured patient education in irritable bowel syndrome. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol 24, 950-957 7 Joyce T, Staudacher H, Whelan K, Irving P and Lomer M (2013). PTH-159 Group education is as effective as one-to-one sessions when administering the low FODMAP diet in functional bowel disorders. Gut, 62 (Suppl 1), pp A276.1-A276 8 Whigham L, Joyce T, Harper G, Irving PM, Staudacher HM, Whelan K, Lomer MCE. Clinical effectiveness and economic costs of group versus one-to-one education for short-chain fermentable carbohydrate restriction (low FODMAP diet) in the management of irritable bowel syndrome. Volume 28, Issue 6. December 2015. pp 687-696 9 Williams M (2018). Somerset IBS Webinars. CN, pp 53-56

• Quarter page to full page

• Premier & Universal placement listings

• NHD website, NH-eNews and Network Health Digest placements

To place an ad or discuss your requirements please call (local rate)

dieteticJOBS.co.uk

01342 824073

Copyright © 2019 NH Publishing Ltd - All rights reserved. Available for printing and sharing for the use of CPD activities for personal use. Not for reproduction for publishing purposes without written permission from NH Publishing Ltd.


NHD CPD eArticle Volume 9.02 - 8th February 2019

Questions relating to: IBS: setting up a patient service Type your answers below, download and save or print for your records, or print and complete by hand. Q.1

Explain the basic guidance from NICE on the management of IBS.

A

Q.2

Give evidence to suggest that dietitians are best placed to advise on the low-FODMAP diet as a treatment for IBS.2

A

Q.3

What were the reasons for setting up an IBS patient service at the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Trust?

A

Q.4

Describe the red flags that were used in order to refer a patient into the service.

A

Q.5

What was the policy regarding the ordering of blood/stool samples?

A

Q.6

Explain why the service changed to group education sessions.

A

Q.7

What are some of the patient barriers to group sessions and what have these emphasised?

Q.8

Give four positive outcomes of the low-FODMAP group sessions in Chester.

Please type additional notes here . . .

Copyright Š 2019 NH Publishing Ltd - All rights reserved. Available for printing and sharing for the use of CPD activities for personal use. Not for reproduction for publishing purposes without written permission from NH Publishing Ltd.

Profile for NH Publishing Ltd

NHD CPD eArticle Vol 9.02  

IBS: setting up a patient service by Rebecca Gasche RD

NHD CPD eArticle Vol 9.02  

IBS: setting up a patient service by Rebecca Gasche RD

Advertisement

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded