Being admitted to hospital with acute bleeding is a distressing experience for patients – especially when the bleed is coming from inside the bowel. Now, a new set of guidelines aims to guarantee they get the best possible care.

How doctors looked after people in this situation and what treatment pathways they are put on has often varied from one hospital to the next. Little was known about the best way of managing patients arriving with this problem, because there was not enough data on what treatment had the best outcomes.

In 2013, alongside NHS Blood & Transplant, BDRF funded the national audit of lower gastrointestinal bleeding to begin the process of developing a set of guidelines for medical professionals treating these patients. Through this, we hoped to improve patient care across the board and make sure everyone taken to hospital with an emergency bowel bleed experienced the best possible treatment.

The team collected data from 143 hospitals around the UK and were able to start working on new gold standards that could be rolled out across the NHS.

Fast forward to 2019 and the British Medical Journal has just published the official guidelines – endorsed by the British Society of Gastroenterology. The Guidelines Development Group consisted of representatives from the BSG Endoscopy Committee, the Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland, the British Society of Interventional Radiology, the Royal College of Radiologists, NHS Blood and Transplant and a patient representative.

We are extremely proud to see these guidelines in print, and once again delighted to have funded the earliest stage of a project that has enormous implications for health professionals in numerous disciplines working across the NHS.

Another example of BDRF seed funding delivering a major national impact – and another occasion for our donors, supporters and researchers to feel extremely proud!

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