Report on the 18th N-ECCO Network Meeting at ECCO'24

Simona Radice, N-ECCO Committee Chair

Simona Radice

Stockholmsmässan, also known as Älvsjömässan, the largest exhibition and conference facility in Sweden, hosted the 18th N-ECCO Network Meeting. A total of 295 IBD Nurses from Europe and beyond were attracted by the interesting programme, in order to share current practice and research in the management of IBD. 

The first morning session focused on the patient. It opened with a talk by Christine Norton (UK) on some often overlooked major patient concerns: pain, fatigue, urgency and incontinence. With passion, Sebastian Shaji (UK) gave an update on perianal and fistulising CD. Pär Myrelid and Åsa Gustafsson, both from Sweden, discussed care of the patient with stoma and pouch in a tandem talk in which they adopted a sensitive, realistic and open approach. Gionata Fiorino (Italy) then presented treatment options for patients with a previous malignancy, a hot topic that worries patients a lot.

Simona Radice (Italy) kicked off the second morning session, looking at innovation in research and practice, with a presentation on nursing experience in switching from intravenous to subcutaneous biologics, this being a challenging topic of much current interest.

We next heard from four nurses about their own work: Natalie Watson (UK) on application of the IBD-F scale in clinical practice; Petra Hartmann (Germany) on IBD Nurse specialist support for patients with impaired quality of life on biologic therapy; Pearl Avery (UK) on a qualitative interview study on flexibility, accessibility, e-literacy, resourcing and the human factor; and Nallely Bueno Hernández (Mexico) on the impact of phase angle on nutritional assessment and Ulcerative Colitis disease activity. All of these presentations resulted in interesting questions and a high level of audience participation.

Living well with IBD was the theme of the afternoon. Shellie Radford (UK) got to the heart of the matter, focusing on what patients want. Ravi Misra (UK) then gave an interesting talk on how IBD affects ethnic groups. The afternoon coffee break led on to the last session, on an MDT perspective. Here, Pearl Avery (UK) gave a presentation on clinical aspects of IBD care and Julie Vanderstappen (Belgium) addressed the quite stimulating question of whether there is a role for diet in IBD.

The last part of the meeting was an excellently led panel discussion on differences in perception between patients and healthcare professionals. The invited patient moved the audience with a detailed and passionate account of his journey and how his experience had inspired him to play an active role in collaborating with healthcare professionals with a view to fostering better comprehension and awareness of IBD.

The day’s sessions were introduced by our outgoing chair, Wladyslawa Czuber-Dochan (UK). Wladyslawa also gave the closing remarks and presented a brilliant overview of N-ECCO proposals and commitments, including the third cycle of the IBD Nurse Educational Programme, coming soon in France, the forthcoming deadlines for the EUR 80,000.- N-ECCO Research Grant and the EUR 1500.- N-ECCO Travel Award, and an update about the IBD Curriculum. Finally, she introduced the new N-ECCO Committee Members and the new N-ECCO Chair, Simona Radice (Italy). Wladyslawa has certainly made a fundamental and high-quality contribution to N-ECCO; her great and devoted commitment has made us all stronger and more aware of our role in IBD care. She will be greatly missed but we are sure that we can rely upon her continued involvement and collaboration.

N-ECCO’s vision remains to improve the care of IBD patients throughout Europe by networking and facilitating accessible, practical and relevant education and by playing an active part in the REACH strategy.

N-ECCO is very grateful to every speaker at the 18th N-ECCO Network Meeting – whether medics, surgeons, dietitians or nurses with clinical or research roles – and to the delegates for their engagement with this year’s programme.

There are abundant opportunities for nurses to collaborate on work, audit or guidelines for practice. Therefore the N-ECCO Committee encourages all nurses to think about this and to contact their N-ECCO National Representatives with new ideas.

Berlin, the city of a hundred villages, is going to be our host for the 20th ECCO Congress.

We are looking forward to seeing you there!

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    Posted in ECCO News, Committee News, Volume 19, Issue 1, N-ECCO