• A doctor’s view of our IBD Family Information Days

    Following recent IBD Family Information Days in Edinburgh and Cobham, CICRA’s Honorary Medical Director Dr Richard Hansen reflects on the involvement of medical specialists and the value they bring to our events, and the value they get from taking part.

    The amount of energy, time and money that CICRA puts into supporting family days is significant. Attendance is always good and families both enjoy and gain from attending. I was struck by the level of expertise we were able to present at both the recent Edinburgh and Cobham meetings – each had the participation of at least two Professors of Paediatric Gastroenterology, 3-4 other NHS Consultants with expertise associated with IBD, and also experts related to nutrition, psychology and research.

    International-level expert faculty
    In short, we were able to present an international-level expert faculty at these meetings for free. It should be said that each of the professionals who attends these meetings does so entirely unpaid, in their own time, and out of kindness to the IBD community. For this, we thank them, as we couldn’t run the family days in their current format without them. What does this participation “give back” to the professionals themselves though? From my own experience, I often learn more about IBD and what it really is from family days. The gloves are off, so-to-speak, and the truth emerges – what people think about IBD; what questions they ask about IBD, its causes and treatments; and, perhaps most importantly, what children and teenagers with IBD have to put up with – socially, physically, mentally, medically, spiritually, etc.

    Needs of families
    There’s only ever so much we can explore with families in pressurised 10-15 minute appointment slots, so this additional time to boost our understanding is priceless. I believe and hope that family days make me a better, more caring and more holistic physician in addition to meeting the needs of the families themselves.

    In short, see you at the next one!

    Dr Richard Hansen is a Consultant Paediatric Gastroenterologist & Honorary Clinical Associate Professor at Glasgow Children’s Hospital.

    He will be speaking at our next IBD Family Information Day in Bristol on Saturday 17 March. Email Jayne on support@cicra.org to express interest in attending and get further information.