New Service Available at Bloomsbury Medical Centre – Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

The aim of the workshop will be to educate the patients regarding what they can do to help improve their IBS symptoms themselves, and this will involve informing them about the recommendations of the NICE 2015 IBS guidance including first line medications they could try if appropriate.

Outline of Service:

The service consists of a face-to-face or online group session which will outline lifestyle advice for IBS. 4-8 weeks after the group session patients will be followed up to assess if they require any further input or referral to secondary services for one-to-one input. Where required further tests will be requested by the Dietitian prior to this referral.

Referral Criteria:

Patients can be booked into the IBS service by all clinical and non-clinical staff if they meet the criteria stated below. Where patients are considered suitable for referral, a task should be sent to the surgery Dietitian who will then contact the patient to book into a group session.

The service is suitable for individuals:

  • Aged 16 and over
  • Reporting symptoms of IBS (see below)
  • Able to travel to surgery or with online access

This service is not suitable for individuals:

  • Under 16
  • Acute gastro/abdomen symptoms
  • Reporting red-flag symptoms (see below)
  • House-bound patients who cannot access online service

Symptoms of IBS:

IBS symptoms can be wide ranging but common symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea

Red Flag Symptoms:

IBS symptoms can be similar to other conditions which require urgent investigation. Any individual reporting the following symptoms should be booked into see a GP or a 2 week wait referral should be sent to the appropriate service.

  • Rectal/Abdominal mass
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Persistent rectal bleeding or blood in stools
  • Family history of bowel or ovarian cancer
  • New persistent change in bowel habits (>6 weeks).

Patients will also be screened for these symptoms within the IBS service and referrals made as appropriate.