I recently emailed the IBD Team and received the following "ping back" response. As it was different to the one I had seen before and contained a lot of general information, I thought it might be useful to share it here. Apologies if you've already seen it!
**COVID-19 (COROANVIRUS)** Updated
Thank you for your email, which has been received.
We are currently receiving higher than normal messages and will respond to you as soon as possible. If you need urgent medical attention, please contact NHS 111.
Only attend the hospital emergency department for a life-threatening problem.
The IBD Nurse Team is operating with THREEE IBD Nurses, but we are practising social distancing within the office during the COVID-19 pandemic and may need to work from home on occasion.
The Gastroenterology Consultant team continue to work on the wards, and Clare Park, but they continue to support the IBD service as much as possible.
Helpline - we are not currently answering the phone, but if you have called and left a message, it will be collected each day, and call-backs will take place the same or following day, dependent on clinical need (within 48hrs)
Please do not email as well as call the helpline - emails are triaged each day, and answered within 5 working days.
Prescription requests - we can post out a prescription, or it can be collected by a family member - to promote patient safety.
Due to COVID-19 outbreak, we will be converting face-to-face appointments to telephone consultations. If you have an appointment, please be available at the assigned time so we can reach you via telephone.
For the latest information regarding COVID-19 in IBD patients, please see the Crohns and Colitis UK website which is updated regularlyhttps://www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk/news/coronavirus-covid-19-advice
Some key recommendations for IBD patients:
Patients are advised to take precautions to avoid infection through good personal hygiene and avoiding unnecessary close contact with people.
At present, patients should continue their existing medications/dose if they are well. Changing the medication risks a flare of IBD which may increase the risks of complications if subsequently infected with coronavirus.
Patients on immunosuppressant's should seek advice via telephone if they develop symptoms of either seasonal flu or coronavirus (01276 526953)
PLEASE EMAIL for non-urgent issues such as prescription requests, appointments or investigation results.
Jayne Lifford, Arlyn Malanta
IBD Nurse Specialists