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NHS failing in care for bowel disease patients

17th May 2010

Doctors have warned that the health service is not providing a high enough standard of care to bowel disease patients in Scotland.

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The number of people with inflammatory bowel disease has doubled in Scotland over the past 20 years.

People in Scotland have the highest likelihood of being diagnosed with bowel disorders such as Crohn's disease.

However doctors have said that underfunded NHS units are having difficulties coping and there are not enough specialist nurses.

Dr Daniel Gaya, an inflammatory bowel disease specialist at Glasgow's Royal Infirmary, said the number of patients with Crohn's disease was increasing: "It's almost reached epidemic proportions."

He said that doctors at Yorkhill children's hospital were making a diagnosis of one new case of Crohn's disease per week.

Dr Gaya added: "Some units are lacking IBD nurses, who are crucial to prevent emergency admissions. There's a lack of support from dieticians, and only around 1% of patients currently participate in clinical trials, which is a very poor figure and we'd like to increase that."

A group of specialists, including Dr Gaya, are to approach the Scottish Parliament to persuade MSPs to provide more funding for bowel conditions.

 

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