The ABUHB Staff IBS Programme

An effective service for the treatment of patients with a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) has been running in Bridgend for nearly 5 years. This project was a finalist in the NHS Wales Awards in 2017. More recently a Staff Pilot for staff suffering from IBS has also been undertaken, where 100 members of ABMU Health Board staff were advised. This project won the MediWales ‘Innovations in the NHS’ Award in 2018. This staff project was the subject of this application.

For this proposed project, staff who suffer from IBS across Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABUHB) were offered specific dietary advice, including the low FODMAP diet to help ease their symptoms of IBS. Staff were offered an initial IBS group education session to ensure they have implemented first line IBS advice.  The first group included: education on evidence based dietary and lifestyle advice for IBS including information about the effects of stress and tension on the gut, relaxation techniques in general and particularly around mealtimes. Those who still reported symptoms after a period of 6 week were offered a FODMAP as either group education. 

The service was delivered by a Registered Dietitian trained specifically in the assessment and delivery of IBS dietary information to include the low FODMAP diet. As the project evolved there was addition of a colorectal CNS to incorporate functional and medicine management recommendations. The programme was also eventually changed from live delivery to an on demand webinar and information resource for staff.

In view of small uptake the pathway was reviewed and amended in September 2020, the wording of the coeliac screen was considered as being too complicated based on higher numbers responding as “unsure” resulting in more exclusion therefore the wording was simplified. The exclusion was also removed so participants were deemed “at risk” were still signposted to their GP but were also given the option to register on the programme to receive advice to help with uptake.