The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has released a new quality standard on irritable bowel syndrome in adults. The guideline, Irritable bowel syndrome in adults, has had key areas summarised for primary care professionals and will be distributed with the next issues of Nursing in Practiceand Pulse. The summary, produced with approval from NICE, addresses the diagnosis and management of irritable bowel syndrome in adults. According to the NHS choices website, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common, long-term condition of the digestive system. It can cause bouts of stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and/or constipation. The symptoms vary between individuals and affect some people more severely than others. They tend to come and go in periods lasting a few days to a few months at a time, often during times of stress or after eating certain foods. IBS is thought to affect up to one-in-five people at some point in their life, and it usually first develops when a person is between 20 and 30 years of age. Around twice as many women are affected as men. The condition is often lifelong, although it may improve over several years. UK charity, The IBS Network has commented on NICE’s guideline. It said: “We welcome the development and publication of quality standards for irritable bowel syndrome by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE). “Quality standards are an important development to measure use of the NICE guidelines for Irritable bowel syndrome and how well the NICE guidelines for IBS are being implemented and utilised within the National Health Service. “The guidelines offer information for healthcare practitioners on the best quality of evidence based diagnosis and treatments of IBS. Quality standards aim to drive up standards of care within the NHS for people undergoing investigation for symptoms and ultimately are diagnosed with IBS. The guidelines represent the best level of care and what should be aspired to by the National Health Service. “These recently developed standards are a great step forward in recognising that IBS should be identified promptly and treated appropriately to improve the lives of many people living with IBS, as such, we very much support and welcome their development.” The NICE quality standard QS114 Irritable bowel syndrome in adults isbased on CG61 and DG11. It should be read in conjunction with QS81, QS62 and QS15. To read the full summary click here.