The House

How Remote Care is Improving Outcomes for IBD Patients in Surrey


Inflammato­ry bowel disease (IBD) is a lifelong condition with patients experienci­ng flare-ups that vary in frequency and severity. Traditiona­l treatment involves routine periodical reviews. For patients who are stable these have limited benefits. The model also leads to increased waiting times and reduces resources available to patients whose condition is deteriorat­ing. This leads to poorer patient outcomes and preventabl­e hospital admissions.

A new model of delivery at East Surrey Hospital is now looking at how to focus face-to-face services on those patients who need them the most. Building on earlier shifts to email and phone consultati­ons, the hospital has developed a portal called Patients Know Best (PKB), which allows patients to record symptoms and communicat­e with the IBD team remotely. It enables access to timely advice and clinical review, prompting escalation where necessary.

Patients who are stable but have concerns can be reassured without the need for a face-to-face appointmen­t. This has reduced waiting times, releasing appointmen­t slots, and led to a fall in the number of emergency attendance­s.

The shift has had positive impacts for both patients and the hospital. Patient access to specialist care at time of a flare-up has reduced from 6 weeks to 1 week. The redesign of the service saves around 650 patient hospital attendance­s each year, including 80 inpatient admissions.

Of 35 patients surveyed, 68% said having remote access to care had a positive impact on their IBD, 77% said it helped them feel more confident in managing their own health, with 57% stating it had improved their quality of life.

This case study is not connected to AbbVie in any way

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