COVID-19 UK IBD tool for patients
- Find out your risk from COVID-19
- Help us find out how COVID-19 affects people with IBD across the UK
National Lockdown and clinically vulnerable people
Update for 05 November 2020
The government has announced a second lockdown for England, starting on Thursday 5th November 2020, which includes specific guidance for clinically vulnerable people. There are different rules for the four nations: please see official guidance for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
If you are in England and have been identified by the Government as clinically extremely vulnerable, the guidance says you will previously have received a letter from the NHS or from your GP telling you this.
The guidance also says that adults on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection are automatically deemed clinically extremely vulnerable. You may not have received a letter previously due to the method used by the Government to work out (see our News article for details)
For people with IBD, the British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG) has published an COVID-19 Risk Grid for IBD. This is the method someone with IBD can use to work out if they have significantly increased risk. The IBD Registry’s COVID-19 IBD Risk Tool is based on the BSG’s Risk Grid and allows you to self-assess your risk, giving you a risk level at the end. Even if you have used our Risk Tool before, remember that your risk level may have changed.
If you think there are good clinical reasons why you should be added to the Shielded Patient List, the guidance says you can discuss your concerns with your GP or hospital clinician. You can give (or send) the results from your IBD Risk Tool self-assessment to your GP or hospital clinician if you want, to help this discussion.
More information relating to the second lockdown as it relates especially to people with IBD can be found in our News Box (top right).
Taking a much-needed few days rest at the end of a year that I think most of us didn't see coming. Carefully laid annual plans went out of the window in March to be replaced by COVID-19 reactive planning. That included the COVID-19 IBD Risk Tool, our sleeper surprise...
What is the COVID-19 UK IBD tool ?
The UK government originally recommended measures for shielding and protecting people who are defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19.
It was important that the group of people with IBD who were at high risk knew about their risk. It was also important that their hospital team and GP knew who they were, as well as relevant NHS bodies such as NHS England.
Sharing this information with hospital IBD teams helped them to be clear about who is in which risk group and meant that they could contact patients quickly if the advice changed.
When the UK Governments ended shielding in August 2020, the Tool was not required for Government shielding identification. However, people who had IBD still wanted to use the Tool to self-assess their risk. To support this, we have left the Tool active for patients, but made the data sharing with clinical teams inactive. If you want to self-assess your risk and help us with research on COVID-19 and IBD, you can still use the Tool for your own risk assessment, but your information will no longer be shared with your clinical team.
In response to the start of national lockdown (England) from the 5th November, we have ensured that the Tool remains active so that people with IBD who are not on the official shielded list can self-assess their risk to support any conversation they may need to have with their GP or hospital clinician.
We will continue to monitor the UK situation and respond accordingly, including advice from the UK Government and from the BSG (British Society of Gastroenterology) who produced the IBD Risk Grid on which the Tool is based.
We will update this webpage in response to any further major changes. Official advice is constantly changing. For up to date information on the latest guidance published in the four nations and what it means for people living with Crohn’s and Colitis visit Crohn’s and Colitis UK or CICRA
How to use the COVID-19 UK IBD tool
- If you have IBD, go to the COVID-19 UK IBD tool, complete the questionnaire and submit your results. Doing this will make sure that your risk level is based on accurate, up-to-date information from you.
- After you’ve entered your data you can download and print a document confirming your risk group.
- You can do this as many times as you like.
- It really helps us if you have your NHS number, but it’s not essential.
What will happen to the data?
Data will be kept securely in line with full information governance requirements, using the IBD Registry’s existing secure data hosting facility at AIMES. It will only used for purposes relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.
What will the data be used for?
This important data will be used to:
- Collect relevant information from people in the UK living with IBD, to be able to quickly and easily determine the level of risk
- Allow respondents to enter details about their health and hospitals, specialist doctors and the GPs that care for them so that the responses can be shared with both the hospital teams that currently care for them and their GP. This means that they have the most up to date information about their patients’ condition and treatment which could be relevant during this COVID-19 response period. In addition, this information can be shared centrally with NHS England and equivalent bodies in the devolved nations to allow them to better respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. [Update 31 July 2020 – this element is being paused due to the end of shielding announced by the Uk Government from 01 August 2020. We will continue to monitor the situation and official advice, and may restart this if required]
- Enable specialist doctors and GPs to contact patients to:
- Request more information if necessary
- Inform patients if any changes are made to advice for patients on their risk
- Provide any specific advice based on their risk status or individual needs
- Support their medical needs in any other way during the COVID-19 outbreak
- Enable research and/or analysis to improve care and treatment for IBD patients in relation to COVID-19
For full details of how your data will be used, please see our Privacy Notice
How is the data protected?
The UK IBD Registry is the Data Controller for the personal information we process in the tool. All data collected will be processed in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Common Law Duty of Confidentiality (CLDC). The data is being collected using a well-established web-based tool designed for undertaking medical surveys and is held within a secure datacentre which is compliant with industry and NHS data security standards.
For further information, including details of our lawful basis, the purposes for which personal confidential data will be processed, your rights and how to contact us, please see the full Privacy Notice here
What about people who have already been contacted by their hospital team, GP or the NHS?
You may have already been contacted by letter from the NHS, but we still ask you use the COVID-19 UK IBD tool, as it assesses people with IBD specifically. It should only take you a few minutes to complete.
Cathryn Edwards, BSG President 2018-2020
Cathryn Edwards was BSG President during the development of this COVID-19 IBD Risk Tool, and her original statement on its release on the 01 April 2020 is below:
“At a time of great uncertainty and anxiety for many people in the UK, I want to reassure you that the BSG is doing everything possible to provide help and accurate information to clinicians and patients alike.
In response to the government’s mandate to identify high-risk patients on immunosuppression, the BSG-COVID-19 Working Group has defined and published a grid on risk levels for people with IBD. This grid was also updated for clarity to improve everyone’s understanding of the categories.
You may have already seen this and know whether you fall into the low, medium, or high-risk group. Crohn’s & Colitis UK have been particularly helpful in supporting this with information and FAQs on their website.
The partnership between patients, doctors, nurses and our specialty society the BSG, has never been more important than it is today.
Many of you may be asking what you can do to help your IBD team and the NHS get your data correctly recorded. Please consider entering your data into the COVID-19 UK IBD tool as part of our combined efforts against COVID-19. Click here to do this.
I want to thank you as a doctor and as an individual for supporting this initiative and for following the strict distancing and isolation procedures as advised.
The strength of our response to this emergency is in our collective action.”
Stuart Bloom, IBD Registry Medical Director and Caldicott Guardian
“The UK IBD Registry and the British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG) have developed a web-based tool for people with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis or unspecified IBD so they can assess their level of risk relating to COVID-19 and communicate it to their IBD specialist team and the NHS.
The tool is simple to use, will take 5-10 minutes to complete, and asks for only enough data to help the NHS help you. All of us in the NHS involved in caring for patients with IBD send you our best wishes at a difficult time and urge you to consider filling in the tool.
Your data will be kept securely in line with full information governance requirements and will only be used for purposes relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Nick Kennedy, Consultant in Gastroenterology, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust and IBD Registry Clinical Technical Lead
“We’ve designed this easy-to-use tool as a practical way to use the BSG’s risk grid to help identify people with IBD who are at the highest risk of serious illness from COVID-19.
It also provides a platform for us to help find out how COVID-19 affects patients with IBD. This should significantly improve our ability to evaluate their risk in future.”
We’ve worked hard to make our tool and the information about it easy to understand and use. If you have suggestions on how we could improve anything, we’d really like know.
Please only use this form for feedback on the tool itself. We’re unable to answer questions on COVID-19 and IBD – we are only a small staff and we are not a medical office. Your IBD team are best able to help you with specific medical enquiries. Crohn’s & Colitis UK and CICRA also have more general patient information and guidance available on their websites.
Working together to combat COVID-19
We’ve been able to develop our tool rapidly thanks to the collaboration of a number of clinicians and partners. We’re happy to share what we’ve learned in order to help others.
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