P258 Managing an ever-increasing inflammatory bowel disease helpline service

G. Scott1, L. Gower1, N. Roads2, W. Lewis3

1Department of Gastroenterology, East Kent Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Margate, UK, 2Department of Gastroenterology, East Kent Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Canterbury, UK, 3Department of Gastroenterology, East Kent Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Ashford, UK


Inflammatory bowel disease helplines have been initiated by Trusts throughout the country over many years. However many of them are not adequately job planned and have also seen a dramatic rise in calls over the years. Our Trust operates a helpline over 3 acute hospital sites. Previously calls were not accounted for financially and calls not documented in patient notes.


The nurses on each site utilise a standard form that notes the issues that patients contact the helpline for and the outcome of the call. The consultation is then dictated via a speech recognition system and a letter is generated and sent to the general practitioner. All calls are then added to a central spreadsheet which then categorises the calls into flare advice, medicines advice, investigation issues, appointment issues, etc.. The time that the call takes is also noted, to enable better job planning.


The monitoring of these helpline calls have enabled the team to employ 2 further IBD nurses as the income generated has paid for them. It has also enabled better job planning and it has highlighted the increased number of calls that are taken by the nursing team and that they have been safely managed and accounted for. it has also enabled the team to trend the calls that are taken and the reasons why patients phone our helplines.


This project has shown a dramatic increase in activity for the IBD nurses. It has also highlighted the financial activity of the service and the contribution this provides to the gastroenterology department. This audit has since been utilised by the South East IBD Network.