Mortality among patients with inflammatory bowel conditions has halved in three years due to improvements in NHS care, according to a UK audit.
The third UK Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Audit carried out in 2010 uncovered substantial improvements in care for ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease since 2006. But it said testing and treatment could still improve.
The report found that deaths among patients with ulcerative colitis fell from 1.7% to 0.8% between 2006 and 2010.
NHS care has also lowered readmission rates for both diseases. The percentage of those seen by a specialist IBD nurse during hospital admission has doubled since the first round of the audit in 2006.
The report said testing for infections such as C. difficile could improve, and all patients should be given heparin where appropriate to prevent blood clots.
It advised that patients should always have a consultation with a specialist nurse if anti-inflammatory treatment is prescribed. All Crohn’s disease patients ought to see a dietician to prevent malnutrition and, if necessary, receive support to stop smoking.
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