The ABUHB team have been working on the national Adopt and Spread Programme to offer Dietitian-led IBS services for NHS staff in the Health Board. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions and disruption to the services, their plans changed as the full implementation was about to take place. 


The Adoption Site team worked to make online services possible, testing group as well as on-demand sessions. Today, they have engaged with over 100 staff members to offer an online assessment and signpost some of them to specialist services. There is now an online service in place which can be accessed with and assessment and video-based information sessions prior to accessing specialist support where needed. This work builds on the work work of the Bevan Exemplar and recent developments in the UK. 

A small-scale project was completed in 2020 during the COVID-19 restrictions where staff were able to register and attend live MS Teams based sessions. This test resulted in 8 people completing the sessions and reporting on symptoms. Although the sample size was not sufficient to provide a full analysis, some changes were observed. 

This adapted innovation is now being reviewed to understand how to increase access and understand impact and implications for care pathways. Here are some of the lessons learnt from our project. 


Things take longer thank you think….

  • Allow time for health board approval /  permissions  when using new software applications and platforms.
  • Take time to familiarise yourself with new digital platforms, taking into account the time needed to test run.


Think outside of the box….

  • Be creative, utilise pre-existing digital resources that are free but beware of hidden costs, particularly with “free  trials”.


Learn from others and it’s ok to ask for help…

  • Research what is already available, network and brainstorm your ideas with others. Meeting with the other test site leads and the Bevan Commission particularly helped my vision come to fruition. They helped me to problem solve through sharing their experiences and suggested appropriate digital platforms that I could use. I also had the support of an assistant dietetic practitioner whose technical knowledge and ability was a real asset and played a big part in the development of the programme.


Be GDPR aware…

  • With any new service that requires data collection, always run it past your local information governance team as its likely that you will need to complete a data protection impact assessment.



  • Use your communication teams to promote your service and ask for feedback from participants to inform change and any improvement that are needed.