Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) affects at least one in 250 of the UK population and the prevalence is rising. Many patients report a delay in getting a diagnosis, the longer this takes to make, the more likely a patient is to require aggressive medical therapy or even surgery.

Managing flares, supporting patients to stay well and monitoring long-term risks are all vital aspects of care. Following the 2017-18 Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Spotlight project, which aimed to improve the detection of IBD and to support primary care clinicians in to treat, manage and refer patients with the condition, this spotlight project (2018-19) will focus on managing flares, and long-term condition management.

We also recognise that the symptoms of IBD can overlap with those of many other diseases, including IBS, colorectal cancer, ovarian cancer, and endometriosis. This project provides tools to help GPs recognise and differentiate between these conditions.

We are working with our partners at Crohn's and Colitis UK to deliver this 12-month project. 

Aims of the project

The project helps health professionals to better detect and manage Inflammatory Bowel Disease through collaborative working, promoting tools, resources, and education developed over the first year of the project.  

We will do this by building collaborative partnerships to maximise potential reach of the resources and integrate primary care management of IBD into relevant programmes.

Key outputs 

Forthcoming work 

We will facilitate a multi-stakeholder task and finish group to develop and promote a flare management pathway and decision support tool to ensure effective primary and secondary care integration. 

An initial project survey, carried out in 2017, showed that this is the area of most concern to GPs, given variable access to specialist care and waiting times for appointments and diagnosis. The pathway will give clear and accessible guidance to GPs about detecting and responding appropriately to a flare.

Join the conversation: #GPIBD

If you are interested to know more, get in touch via

 Clinical team

Dr Kevin Barrett


Dr Kevin Barrett is the RCGP and Crohn’s & Colitis UK Spotlight Project IBD Clinical Lead. Kevin has been a GP in Hertfordshire for over 15 years. Kevin is also the chair of the Primary Care Society for Gastroenterology. 






Charlotte Reilly

I’m Charlotte, Regional Clinical Champion for Wales. I work full time as a GP in Porthcawl, South Wales. I have been a GP for the last two years after completing my training in the Bridgend area and studying at Cardiff University. My husband was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in January 2018 and we have both benefited greatly from the support and information available from Crohn’s and Colitis UK. I am very excited to be part of this project and hope to be able to improve education levels and management of IBD within primary care. 




Catherine Allen



I’m Catherine Allen, the IBD Clinical Champion for the North of England. I am a part time GP in the outskirts of Manchester, and mum to 2 boisterous boys.  I have been a GP for 16 years, and also work as clinical advisor at Trafford CCG.  I am a keen runner and am about to do my first half marathon.  I have a vested interest in IBD, as I have Crohn’s, so I can see things from both a patient and doctor perspective.  I hope to improve education for local GPs in IBD, as well as facilitate better management between primary and secondary care.




James Rayner

Hi, I’m James Rayner, a GP in Kidderminster, North Worcestershire. My interest in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) stems from personal and professional contexts. I work full time and have 3 children. Time outside of work is devoted to family, and where possible, playing and spectating in sports. We need to continue to improve understanding, attitudes and care for those affected by IBD. I am enthused by the wealth of support already available in the UK and am very privileged to help raise awareness, educate and improve access for those in need. I’m RCGP clinical champion for the Midlands so am focused on care promotion and engaging in needs across the region.




Kirsty Brooks

I am Kirsty, boxing enthusiast, passionate animal lover and mum to two amazing teenagers. I’ve been nursing for approximately 20yrs, the last 9-10 yrs of which have happily been dedicated to Gastro and being an IBD Clinical Nurse Specialist in London and Kent. Due to a change in personal circumstances I’ve moved from London to Norfolk and am now enjoying a very different side to nursing by working in a rural GP practice. I was instantly attracted to this role as I’m able to combine the knowledge and experience of working in both primary and secondary care which is a unique position to be in and one I’m incredibly grateful of. Becoming an IBD Clinical Champion for the East of England is a huge honour; Across the country we can hopefully improve the pathway for our patients suffering with Inflammatory Bowel Disease through education, consistency and highlighting the everyday challenges faced by IBD sufferers and their families; this is everything I’ve been striving for over the last 9-10yrs...let’s do this!”




Charlie Andrews

Having recently completed my training in General Practice, I work as a GP in Clevedon outside Bristol.  I have a strong personal interest in IBD, having suffered from Ulcerative Colitis since the age of 15, and having gone through most treatments over the years, culminating in colectomy surgery in 2012.  I offer talks about my experience to educate fellow healthcare professionals and to raise the profile of Colitis both locally and nationally.  During my limited free time away from work, I enjoy keeping fit and I completed an Ironman event in Wales last year, raising money for St Marks Hospital research into bowel diseases. 

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