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Nurse specialists are a vital part of the multidisciplinary team, said BSG president professor Chris Hawkey at the end of last month. High-quality care is built around multidisciplinary teams, and specialist nurses are a really key component of these teams, professor Hawkey told a meeting to raise awareness of gastroenterological conditions at 11 Downing Street. Specialist nurses are the interface that patients most value, and they play a predominant role in patient care. Although many hospitals do have them, we want every hospital in the UK to have a nurse specialist, he said. The specialists will be needed to play a key role in delivering six new minimum standards of care for patients with inflammatory bowel disease. The standards have been developed by seven stakeholder organisations including the BSG and the RCN s Crohns and Colitis special interest group. The stakeholder group wants all UK commissioners to implement the standards by October 2010. They include maintaining a patient-centred service, providing patient education and support, and delivering high-quality care to all UK patients with IBD. We want every strategic health authority to be aware of these standards, and all 161 commissioning bodies to adopt these standards of care as the norm for their local community, said professor Hawkey. The call for more specialist nurses was also backed by the National Association for Colitis and Crohns disease , which launched a campaign in 2005 to increase the number of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) nurse specialists. The campaign was started after a NACC survey revealed that just 26% of UK colitis and Crohns patients had the support of an IBD nurse specialist. According to data from the UK IBD national audits, this figure increased quite dramatically to 56% in 2006, and to 62% by 2008.