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Right Arrow Support for stoma patients
23 August 2016 at 10:14

Nurses in Southport want to raise awareness of a common, yet rarely talked about condition that affects thousands of people across the country.

Around 80,000 people in the UK have stomas of various types.

A stoma is an artificial opening on the abdomen created to divert the body’s waste into a disposable pouch.

More than 500 people in north Sefton wear a stoma pouch. Specialist nurses offer practical and psychological support to these patients.

Nurses Samantha Miller and Vanessa Stevenson are based at Southport’s Stoma Clinic in Poulton Road. Fellow stoma nurse Sharon Dearnly Davidson cares for patients in West Lancashire.

Sam said: “We offer support, reassurance and practical information to anyone who may be about to have a stoma. People of all ages and backgrounds may have to use a stoma at some point in their lives.

“Predominantly most of our patients are people in their 50s and 60s who have had bowel cancer but we also care for teenagers and younger adults too.

“We provide care to those who are new to living with a stoma and also continual support to those who will live with a stoma for the rest of their lives.

A recent annual open day for stoma patients took place in Southport where latest products and expert advice was available.

During the event patients gave excellent feedback about the care they receive:

Peter Wood, 78 from Ainsdale, has been using a stoma for the last three years. He said: “The care I have received has been brilliant and I thank Sam and the NHS for helping me.”

Lorraine McGlashon, 58 from Hightown has been using a stoma since January: “The stoma has given me a new lease of life. I go swimming every day. The stoma nurses have been wonderful to me and are always there to offer support. It’s important to be in charge of your stoma rather than let the stoma be in charge of you.”

Stoma nurses offer as much psychological support as practical support.

Sam added: “We have a wide range of patients from babies to older people who may have inflammatory bowel disease or bowel cancer.
“We work with patients to give them confidence to do the day-to-day things that most people take for granted. Our aim is to support patients to live full independent lives.

“The initial weeks of having a stoma are often the hardest but with ongoing support most people learn to adapt their lifestyle.”

The first surgical stomas were created in the early 18th century. Stoma products have evolved and improved greatly over the years.

More information about stoma care is available here:

Photo captions:

Top: Stoma nurses Vanessa Stevenson and Samantha Miller.

Middle: Stoma nurse Sam with patient Lorraine from Hightown.

Bottom right: Stoma nurse Sam with patients and visitors to a recent stoma open day.


Issued by Dickie Felton
Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust

Telephone 01704 705061
Twitter @SONHSTrust

Notes for editors

1. Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust manages Southport and Formby District General Hospital and Ormskirk and District General Hospital, and is responsible for many community healthcare services for adults in Southport, Formby and West Lancashire. We also provide sexual health services across Sefton. The North West Regional Spinal Injuries is hosted by the Trust from Southport hospital.  In 2014/15, we saw 270,141 outpatients; treated 59,808 inpatients; made 280,831 home visits in the community; supported the birth of 2,747 babies; and attended to 110,620 urgent care cases.