We had a great meeting on 9 March at Farnborough Rugby Club. The following is an article that one of our members, Simon Payne, who is a journalist with Surrey News wrote and had published in the newspaper.
Taking the initiative and being empowered to manage your own health concerns were the key messages given to people who attended Frimley Park Hospital IBD Patient Group’s spring meeting last Wednesday. The group met for the first of its quarterly gatherings of 2022 at Farnborough Rugby Club and welcomed three new members.
The hospital’s Jayne Lifford and Vonne Karlo Calonzo, from the IBD department, also attended and Jayne responded to some concerns about levels of support provided by the IBD team by giving a detailed rundown of how their time is taken up each week through meetings, clinics, checking and responding to emails and phone calls, prescribing medication and ward visits.
It emerged that some people contact the team without providing their full details which can take up valuable time, so patients are encouraged to always include in emails or voice messages their full name, date of birth, hospital number, medication and dosage, and brief outline of symptoms and actions taken.
It was discussed whether patients should carry flare cards with their medical details or store the information electronically via an app so it is available if needed. This is something the group is bound to discuss again.
Jayne explained that it is hoped a new computer system at Frimley Park Hospital will make life easier for staff as all patient information will be centralised, whereas it currently has to be accessed via various software. The new system is due to go live this summer with staff training booked in to take place.
Immunosuppressed patients were also urged to get in touch with their GPs if they feel they should have a fourth Covid jab but have not had one yet, once again seizing the initiative and taking control of their condition.
The patient group has produced a leaflet detailing contact information and dates for this year’s meetings – these will be placed in the hospital and handed Patients urged to feel empowered with their health out at clinics, while group chairman Jane Freebairn asked members to take some home with them so they could be put up in local GP surgeries, pharmacies, supermarkets and other places with public notice boards. The aim is to spread the word so Crohn’s and colitis patients know they are not alone and there is a friendly group that can be joined for additional support.
The next meeting will be on June 8 when the topic of discussion will be Nutrition and IBD, followed by Living with IBD on September 7 and the Christmas party and quiz in December. For more information, see https://frimleyibdgroup.co.uk/ or https://www.facebook.com/groups/722765281242224/
I would really like to emphasise how friendly these meetings are. PLEASE note the date of the next one in your diary and try to come along. We will make you very welcome.