Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a collective phrase that refers to a group of chronic inflammatory conditions that affect the gastrointestinal tract, commonly the small and large intestines.
The most common of these diseases are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Although they are known for their effects on the gut, these conditions can also cause disease in other organs and systems, such as the skin, liver, and bones.
Until a cure is found, patients who develop Crohn’s or colitis will have the disease for life. With careful treatment and management, it is possible for many people with IBD to live normal or near-normal lives. For this to happen, however, they need to be supported in every aspect of their care and wellbeing.
This is where GutSmart comes in.
At Crohn’s & Colitis Australia, we strive to ensure that people living with inflammatory bowel disease receive the best possible care.
We know that holistic care can have a huge and positive impact on people living with and managing their Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. However, research shows that access to allied health professionals is low, with fewer than 1 in 3 patients having a dietitian as part of their treatment team, and only 1 in 10 a psychologist.
GutSmart is our solution to this problem.
This initiative is a new and exciting online education platform designed to further educate health professionals on inflammatory bowel disease to better target the care of IBD patients. GutSmart health professionals can be accessed by members of the IBD community through our healthcare professionals directory.
Formed in 1985, Crohn’s & Colitis Australia’s (CCA) primary purpose is to provide support services, advice, and encouragement to the nearly 100,000 people in Australia living with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. As a non-profit, CCA works to drive quality of care for the IBD community through advocacy, educating health professionals and people living with IBD, raising community awareness, building research capacity in the search for a cause or cure, and promoting gut health.
Through partnership with the Australian Government Department of Health and various stakeholders, the Inflammatory Bowel Disease National Action Plan 2019 was created with the following vision:
“All Australians living with inflammatory bowel disease have access to high quality, integrated care to best manage their own health and improve quality of life.”
GutSmart targets the first priority area of the National Action Plan – developing a skilled and accessible multidisciplinary workforce. The quality and availability of multidisciplinary IBD care varies across the country, especially in rural and regional areas. Because of this, greater numbers of health professionals with specialised skills are needed to provide widespread access to services, and to support people living with IBD to better self-manage their health.
By enrolling in a GutSmart course, you will join a network of health professionals around Australia who are dedicated to improving the quality of life of people with Crohn’s and colitis.