The COVID-19 pandemic is putting unprecedented pressures on healthcare systems globally. Early insights have been made possible by rapid sharing of data from China and Italy. In the UK, we have rapidly mobilised inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) centres in order that preparations can be made to protect our patients and the clinical services they rely on. This is a novel coronavirus; much is unknown as to how it will affect people with IBD. We also lack information about the impact of different immunosuppressive medications. To address this uncertainty, the British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG) COVID-19 IBD Working Group has used the best available data and expert opinion to generate a risk grid that groups patients into highest, moderate and lowest risk categories. This grid allows patients to be instructed to follow the UK government’s advice for shielding, stringent and standard advice regarding social distancing, respectively. Further considerations are given to service provision, medical and surgical therapy, endoscopy, imaging and clinical trials.
- crohn's disease
- ulcerative colitis
- crohn's colitis
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NAK, G-RJ and CAL are joint first authors.
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Contributors CWL, NAK, G-RJ and CAL led the writing group. All authors contributed to either or both discussion regarding guidance set out in this manuscript and editing of the final document.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests For details of conflicts of interest see online supplementary table 1.
Patient and public involvement Real time, valuable feedback from patients engaging with the IBD Registry and Crohn’s and Colitis UK tools, as well as previous versions of this guidance on the British Society of Gastroenterology website, has helped clarify ambiguities in the original risk stratification grid. This has provided a powerful and unique mechanism for rapid patient-clinician co-development of this clinical guidance.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article.
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