In 2015, a pilot study for patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) started in ABMU Health Board*. In 2016, this became a Bevan Exemplar project.

The principle was to trial a FODMAP service for IBS patients in a small number of GP Practices in the Bridgend area. The success of the project was recognised when the study became a finalist in the NHS Wales Awards in 2017. A Staff project providing support for Health Board staff with IBS gained recognition in 2018 by winning the MediWales Innovations Award in the ‘Innovation within NHS Wales Award’ category.

As part of the Bevan Commission’s Adopt and Spread programme Aneurin Bevan and Cardiff and the Vale Health Boards were recruited as adoption sites. Although the global pandemic initially hampered efforts to reach the projects’ full potential, adaptations to delivery methods have enabled a service to continue.

In CTM* Health Board,staff have been recruited using SharePoint and Facebook campaigns and also via posters and leaflets placed in ‘Rest & Relaxation’ rooms and COVID vaccination centres across the Health Board. All sessions have been delivered virtually using a combination of Attend Anywhere, Teams, Zoom or WhatsApp video calls. Supporting information leaflets and resources have been shared online in an effort to reduce costs. Although referrals from GP Practices were initially reduced, these have now increased again, so patients are also receiving online advice and support. The results of this study are a combination of both patients and Staff.

* Bridgend Locality was originally part of ABMU Health Board, but in April 2019 Bridgend became part of CTM Health Board.