We’re making your voice heard

16 June 2020

The government needs to recognise and support the vital role of patient charities in supporting people during the pandemic and beyond. To help with this, we’ve submitted evidence to the Health and Social Care Select Committee, on you, our supporters’ behalf.

The Health and Social Care Select Committee holds inquiries, looking at the work of the Government, the Department of Health and Social Care, and other public health bodies including NHS England. This means that after inquiries take place, the Committee can make recommendations to the Government about how they might do things differently based on evidence from people, organisations, and charities.

In April the Health and Social Care Select Committee opened an inquiry called: Delivering Core NHS and Care Services during the Pandemic and Beyond. We were given the opportunity to submit evidence to this, making sure the needs of people with Crohn’s and Colitis are listened to during the coronavirus outbreak.

We wrote to the Committee telling them about the key concerns from people affected by Crohn’s and Colitis during this time.

We highlighted that for people with Crohn’s and Colitis, serious flare-ups and delays to diagnosis or planned surgery can lead to a rise in emergency surgery, more complex surgery and life-threatening complications, as well the condition worsening.

We also know that people with Crohn’s and Colitis have been worried about their IBD teams moving to work on coronavirus wards, leaving vital helplines for patients under-staffed, and that it has been difficult to access some medicines.

We urged that when planning to return to “ordinary” healthcare it is so important that decisions are based on each person with Crohn’s or Colitis, as everyone is different. We told the Committee that we want communication to be joined up with us and the Government, NHS communications, IBD doctors, and other healthcare professionals to help you get the clear and correct information from the start.

The needs of people with Crohn’s and Colitis cannot be forgotten about during the coronavirus outbreak. Crohn’s and Colitis are lifelong conditions that can get worse without the right treatment and care. Our list of practical recommendations provided to the Health and Social Care Committee will help people with Crohn’s and Colitis receive the care they need and deserve, working within the current pressures the NHS are facing. We are extremely grateful to dedicated IBD teams who are doing all they can to keep services running and we need the government to recognise we are a vital link between the NHS and patients during this time.

Ruth Wakeman
Director of Information and Support Services

What’s next?

To read our full submission to the Health and Social Care Select visit here.

The Health and Social Care Committee will review all the written evidence it receives We will keep you updated on the Health and Social Committee’s response and what happens next.