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The Irish Society for Colitis and Crohn’s Disease (ISCC) has called on Minister for Health, Simon Harris to double the number of specialist Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) nurses from 14 to at least 28.
The ISCC said it met with Minister Harris six months ago where it delivered a petition, containing over 3,600 signatures, supporting the ISCC’s #DoubleUp campaign, a campaign that aims to double the number of specialist IBD nurses in Ireland.
However according to the ISCC no additional IBD nurses have been hired since,
“I would ask the Minister for Health to, at a minimum, double the number of Specialist Crohn’s and Colitis nurses in Ireland, as currently access to nursing care is not the same for everyone,” said Dr Glen Doherty, Consultant Gastroenterologist and Physician, St Vincent University Hospital who attended the ISCC meeting with the Minister last November.
“The role these nurses play in IBD patients’ lives is incredibly powerful – providing care and specialist advice on treatment and on living with inflammatory bowel disease day-to-day.”
According to Bruno Lucas, Chair of the ISCC, “Specialist IBD nurses provide detailed advice on treatment for the condition and on how to cope with IBD on a day to day basis. This has a powerful impact on the level of care provided to IBD patients, but unfortunately not all IBD patients can access that level of care.
“That is why we cannot let this matter drop. If you are living with IBD, every day counts. So, we will continue to count the days until this modest increase in the number of specialist nurses is delivered. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long before solid progress is made and we can stop the clock on this initiative,” Mr. Lucas concluded.