Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) affects at least one in 250 people 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.

Working in partnership with Crohn’s and Colitis UK, the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Spotlight project was created in 2017-18 to improve the detection of IBD and support primary care clinicians to treat, manage and refer patients with the condition. In 2018-19, the project’s focus was managing flares and long-term condition management. 2019-2020 used Regional Clinical Champions to disseminate learning across the UK and work with secondary care to implement pathways. The project ended in March 2020.

The Inflammatory Bowel Disease project team recognise that the symptoms of IBD can overlap with those of many other diseases, including, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, colorectal cancer, ovarian cancer, and endometriosis. This project was set up to deliver tools to help GPs recognise and differentiate between these conditions.

Aims of the project

The goal of this project was to help primary care health professionals to better detect and manage Inflammatory Bowel Disease through collaborative working, promoting tools, resources, and education developed over the course of the project.

This was achieved by building collaborative partnerships to maximise potential reach of the resources and integrate primary care management of IBD into relevant programmes.

Key achievements

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
Regional IBD Champion - Wales

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.

Rachel Campbell
Regional IBD Champion – North of England

Rachel CampbellI'm Rachel, the Regional IBD Champion for the North of England. I have been working in Gastroenterology for 25 years with the last 15 as an IBD specialist nurse, l have a BSc in Gastroenterology and an MSc in advance practice. I was lucky enough to be involved in the spotlight project from the beginning and was involved in the development of the GP toolkit and eLearning module. I am passionate about including Primary Care colleagues, educating them and finding ways to streamline services to improve care for IBD and suspected IBD patients. I manage a small team and also run our capsule endoscopy service and read them as well. I have also developed a rapid access pathway for GPs and have used it since 2016 which has seen a considerable cost saving for the local CCG. "I am a bonkers mum to 15 year old twins and enjoy visiting my folks in the highlands of Scotland".


Ceris Ap Gwilym
Regional IBD Champion – Wales

Ceris Ap Gwilym

I'm Ceris, the Regional IBD Champion for Wales. I am a part time GP working in a rural practice in Bethesda, North Wales. I trained as a gastroenterology registrar for several years before switching career paths to become a GP. I now do weekly IBD clinic in the local DGH and attend the IBD MDT meetings. I work to improve links between primary and secondary care gastroenterology services, as i have good exposure working in both fields. I am also mum to 3 young children, and my family love being out in the mountains of Snowdonia or skiing in the Alps! I also enjoy running and biking.


James Rayner
Regional IBD Champion - Midlands

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.


Charlie Andrews
Regional IBD Champion – South West England

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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