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Specialist nurses upskill to improve patient care

4th January 2024

Three Southern Health and Social Care Trust Specialist Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) nurses Ruth Hall, Sorcha Henderson and Lynsey Breen.

A group of Specialist Nurses have expanded their skill set by educating colleagues on their specialist roles in a bid to improve patient care at the Southern Health and Social Care Trust.

Ruth Hall, Sorcha Henderson and Lynsey Breen work as Specialist Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) nurses and recently hosted training sessions on the chronic condition for their nursing colleagues to enhance the care of gastro patients on wards within the Trust.

As IBD specialist Nurses, Ruth, Sorcha and Lynsey were able to provide expert advice and information on all aspects of IBD to the ward-based nurses so that they can best manage patients with IBD who find themselves in hospital.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a chronic inflammation (irritation) of the intestines that is not due to infection. Chron’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis are the two main forms of IBD. As chronic conditions they are ongoing and life-long, although patients may have good periods of good health as well as times when symptoms are more active, experiencing relapses or flare-ups.

“Hospitalisation if often necessary for patients with IBD due to disease flare ups, complications or the need for increased medical intervention.

“We hope that by educating ward-based staff within the hospital that they will be able to enhance the care of our gastro inpatients by using this newly acquired knowledge to deliver a high quality inpatient service.”

Nursing colleagues from 1 South in Craigavon Area Hospital as well as staff from the Day Clinical Centre in South Tyrone, where IBD patients receive their biological infusions as outpatients, were among the first to attend this face-to-face event. Orlagh Murphy, Head of Service for Gastroenterology, Rheumatology, Neurology, Diabetes & Endocrine, said:

“Patients are at the heart of what we do and Ruth, Sorcha and Lynsey have used learning to enable other nursing teams to optimise care in our acute hospital settings.”