They say a problem shared is a problem halved, so GCASFM decided to sit in on the first 'Inflammatory Bowel Disease' patient open day at University College London Hospitals. Finally a chance to meet other sufferers from the IBD family...
On the morning of 7th November 2015 I attended the first IBD Patient Open Day at UCLH on Euston Road, London. A very wet and windy start to the day and a bold initiative by the hospital to invite a group of IBD patients together in a lecture room…would there be enough toiletry facilities to go around.
I’ll be honest I have never attended any type of event where Crohn’s Disease and Colitis would be the topic of discussion, so I was a little apprehensive about attending. At best my social awkwardness in any situation raises it’s head, my eyes scanning around the room struggling to make contact with the person I’m talking to, just added an extra bit of unease, but I was representing myself and GCASFM and soon got over myself. I had managed to pressgang fellow Crohnie and GCASFM supporter Thomas Hough in to making the journey across town. He was representing for his local hospital in Hillingdon, North West London.
The whole days schedule had been organised by Lisa Whitley and Heather Parker the IBD nurses from UCLH. Having not needed to make an appointment in the time I’ve been on the books at UCLH to see the nurses, it was finally nice to meet the faces behind the emails nudging me to get a blood test. They had put in so much effort to bring the day together, including the free breakfast/lunch buffet supplied by Coloplast, the promotion stalls from the days sponsors Crohn’s & Colitis UK and The Princes Trust, as well as the well structured list of the days speakers including Dr Stuart Bloom and Dr Roser Vega Consultant Gastroenterologists, the UCLH Patient Panel, IBD Dietician Katie Keetarut, Clinical Trials Coordinator Belinda Theis and Kay Greveson IBD Clinical Nurse Specialist from the Royal Free Hospital in London.
Now I am not going to list everything the speakers had to say, as a lot of it was things we’ve all heard from our specialists in the past, relating to the differences between Crohn’s and Colitis, how a specific diet and nutrition is to help maintain your body whilst dealing with IBD. The reason for this recap was to make you aware of this event, in particular if you are a patient of this hospital. If you’re not a patient at UCLH maybe suggest to your own practice that an event like this is beneficial. It’s great to get behind these types of seminars and events, it was really interesting to hear different opinions and questions submitted by the audience and to learn and be made aware of things I wouldn’t of thought to ask.
If you want more details on the event contact the IBD nurses at UCLH whose contact details are below. They may have notes or print outs from the event. Also if you want to follow the chronic fundraising exploits of Thomas Hough, be sure to follow him and his adventures. When we held our fundraising cycle event last year, Thomas jumped at the chance to help us, since then he has done so much more, his details are below.
Thanks again to everyone in the Gastro Team at UCLH, luckily for me we haven’t seen much of each other apart from the routine consultations, MRIs and Colonoscopies, but I like many appreciate the work and dedication you put in daily to make our lives that bit more comfortable. Big thanks to Lisa and Heather.
PEOPLE TO WATCH
Lisa Whitley and Heather Parker - IBD Clinical Nurse Specialists
Sister Kay Greveson - IBD Nurse Specialist
Her self-funded project could well be a revelation for travelling IBD patients. The IBD Passport is worth consulting this website before you travel.
Thomas Hough – The Chronic Adventurer fundraising for Crohn’s & Colitis UK