Review of a paediatric inflammatory bowel disease service during the pandemic and the impact of the CNS role

Br J Nurs. 2021 Jul 22;30(14):840-844. doi: 10.12968/bjon.2021.30.14.840.

Gemma Lee 1, Jochen Kammermeier 2, Rakesh Vora 2, Mohamed Mutalib 2


Author information

  • 1Clinical Nurse Specialist, Paediatric Gastroenterology Department, Evelina London Children's Hospital, London.
  • 2Consultant Paediatric Gastroenterologist, Paediatric Gastroenterology Department, Evelina London Children's Hospital, London.


Background: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic relapsing and remitting condition. The COVID-19 pandemic has severely disrupted provision of medical care across the world. IBD clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) played a pivotal role in the care of children with IBD during the pandemic national lockdown and in the recovery phase. This article aims to look at the impact of COVID-19 on the paediatric IBD service in one children's hospital and the effect on the IBD CNSs' workload.

Method: A retrospective review of clinical notes and the service's IBD database from January 2019 to September 2020.

Results: There was a significant increase in the number of email and telephone contacts to the IBD CNS team during lockdown. There was an increase in virtual clinics, and an increase in new IBD patients coming to the service, but a reduction in the number of face-to-face consultant clinics.

Conclusion: COVID-19 has disrupted medical services to children with IBD and led to a reduction in face-to-face activities but has also led to a significant increase in virtual activities. CNSs have taken up a wider role to cover patient care during a time of both medical and nursing redeployment.



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