Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are the principal forms of inflammatory bowel disease. Both represent chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, that display heterogeneity in inflammatory and symptomatic burden between patients, and within individuals over time. Optimal management relies on understanding and tailoring evidence-based interventions by clinicians in partnership with patients.

This guideline for management of inflammatory bowel disease in adults over 16 years of age was developed by Stakeholders representing UK physicians (British Society of Gastroenterology), surgeons (Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland), specialist nurses (Royal College of Nursing), paediatricians (British Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition), dietitians (British Dietetic Association), radiologists (British Society of Gastrointestinal and Abdominal Radiology), general practitioners (Primary Care Society for Gastroenterology) and patients (Crohn’s and Colitis UK).

A systematic review of 88,247 publications, and a Delphi consensus process involving 81 multidisciplinary clinicians and patients was undertaken to develop 168 evidence and expert opinion based-recommendations for pharmacological, nonpharmacological and surgical interventions, as well as optimal service delivery in the management of both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Comprehensive, up-to-date guidance is provided regarding indications for, initiation and monitoring of immunosuppressive therapies, nutrition interventions, pre-, peri- and post-operative management, as well as structure and function of the multidisciplinary team, and integration between primary and secondary care. Twenty research priorities to inform future clinical management are presented, alongside objective measurement of priority importance, determined by 2,379 electronic survey responses from individuals living with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, including patients, their families and friends.