The Travel with IBD campaign, developed in collaboration between Takeda UK and the patient charity Crohn’s & Colitis UK, has won the 2018 Communique ‘Excellence in Healthcare Collaboration and Partnerships’ award.
Travelling while living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) can be a big source of stress. A survey of 1,776 people with IBD, conducted by Takeda UK, Crohn’s and Colitis UK and IBD Passport, highlighted that 72% feel IBD limits their travel some-to-all of the time; 70% worry about toilet facilities whilst travelling; and 28% have deferred, cancelled or changed a trip abroad because of an IBD-related issue.
The Travel with IBD campaign aimed to raise awareness about this invisible disability, and introduce new accessible toilet signage across the UK’s main travel hubs (airports, rail stations, service stations) to help people with IBD when they travel.
The campaign mobilised the travel industry to take key actions that would make a real difference to people living with IBD. People were encouraged to email travel hub bosses and call for change. Members of the public sent more than 50,000 campaign emails since launch, and 82% of airport companies have installed the signage so far.
The Communique judges said of the campaign: ‘This was strong collaboration and very easy to see the benefits of the partnership for everyone involved. The team had clearly defined intent and goals, and everyone came together to come up with a joint working programme with influences from both side. It was great, collaborative work!’
The campaign continues with further travel hubs joining the movement. At the same time, the increasing use of accessible toilet signs is raising awareness of the fact that not all disabilities are visible.
‘The amount of emails sent to travel hub bosses blew us away. It goes to show how mobilised the IBD community is and just how empathetic the general public are when aware of these types of conditions,’ said Audrey Liechti, Senior Corporate Communications Manager, Takeda UK. ‘I’m proud that Takeda can partner with organisations such as Crohn’s & Colitis UK and IBD Passport, and truly deliver on our patient centricity values.’
Find out more about the Travel with IBD campaign by visiting Crohn’s & Colitis UK’s website.
Visit the IBD Passport website, an award winning one-stop travel resource for people affected by Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis developed by Specialist IBD Nurse Kaye Greveson
Date of Preparation: July 2018