PRESS RELEASE / EMBARGOED UNTIL 00.00AM, WEDNESDAY 20 JULY 2022
Coloplast UK, charities and people with a stoma heading to Parliament to ‘relay’ the importance of high quality stoma care
On Wednesday 20th July, Coloplast UK and Ireland will join forces with the UK’s three largest stoma charities to co-host a first-of-its-kind relay to Parliament to launch a new ‘Calls to Action’ statement. The statement developed by people with stomas sets out the improvements needed to ensure everyone with a stoma has access to optimal care so that they can live their lives to the full – whether that’s returning to sport, going on holiday, going to the cinema, taking their kids to the park, DIY, or going to a restaurant.
Together with Ileostomy and Internal Pouch Association, Urostomy Association and Colostomy UK, Coloplast are arranging the relay, which is starting at a London hospital 6 kilometres away from Parliament, where the participants will finish; a symbolic display of the activities that people with a stoma can do when they receive high quality care and support. The relay will be led by people with a stoma, alongside other members of the stoma community, including nurses, charity representatives and even Coloplast UK’s local Member of Parliament, Paul Bristow MP.
Using the Calls to Action statement as a ‘baton’, participants will follow a scenic route along the River Thames before passing the baton to reception host, Giles Watling MP, directly outside of Parliament. Once they have had the chance to catch their breath, Giles will invite the runners and walkers into Parliament to kick-off a reception and celebrate their efforts to carry this important message from ‘patients’ to policymakers. The reception will also seek to educate Parliamentarians about the steps they can take to support everyone living with a stoma across the UK.
Speaking ahead of the event, reception host Giles Watling MP said: “I’m delighted to be supporting this truly unique event and want to wish participants the best of luck ahead of the relay. I look forward to welcoming them outside of Parliament and learning more about the important steps that need to be taken to help everyone with a stoma to enjoy the best possible quality of life. I urge all of my Parliamentary colleagues to join us on Wednesday afternoon.”
Anne Marks a relay participant who supported the development of the ‘Calls to Action’ research, said: “As a member of the stoma community, I know first-hand about the challenges that living with a stoma can bring. I was really pleased to share my personal experience of what it is really like to live with a stoma. I want to play my part in making sure that as many people as possible know about our Calls to Action. I don’t want anyone with a stoma to be suffering in silence.”
Tracey Virgin-Elliston, Lead Nurse Specialist in Stoma Care at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust who will be handing the baton to the first relay participants said: “I’m so pleased to be able to start this amazing event. Myself and our brilliant team dedicate every day to making sure that people with a stoma receive the best possible care and support when they need it most. It will be amazing to hand over the baton to the relay participants, who are driven by the very same purpose. We’re certainly proud to show our support for this brilliant effort to improve the lives of the UK’s stoma community.”
Mary Speirs, Senior Director, Clinical Services Chronic Care UK and relay participant, said: “Coloplast is delighted to be working with Ileostomy and Internal Pouch Association, Urostomy Association and Colostomy UK on this very special and important event. We’re united by our commitment to ensuring the voice of the stoma community is heard at the highest levels, and I’m sure that the relay and reception will play a vital role in achieving this. I’m looking forward to lacing up my trainers and doing my part to support people with a stoma across the UK on Wednesday”.
The stomas in Parliament event has been initiated and funded by Coloplast UK and Ireland.
Notes to editors
About the ‘Calls to Action’:
Ileostomy and Internal Pouch Association, Urostomy Association, Colostomy UK and Coloplast UK and Ireland have been working with patients to develop research articulating the challenges people with a stoma experience in their post-surgery lives, with a particular focus on the impact of leakage. The research uses insight from people with a stoma to develop recommendations that stakeholders including healthcare professionals, healthcare providers, communities and employers, policymakers and manufacturers and suppliers should be looking to implement in order to support people with a stoma across the UK. The research was developed using a modified Delphi panel, which utilised several patient focus groups to create a set of ‘Calls to Action’ which will be shared with policymakers on Wednesday 20th July. Among other findings, the research suggests that leakage has a significant impact on daily life and can be the cause of physical and mental health challenges, as well as unique social anxieties, for people with a stoma. It also found that access to peer support and specialist care can be a significant aid in dealing with these complications, though there is a lack of equitable access to these resources. Further information on the event and research can be accessed here, and by searching #StomasInParliament on social media channels.
A stoma is an artificial opening in the body that is used to discharge waste. The surgery is performed to treat a range of conditions, including bowel and bladder cancer and Inflammatory Bowel Disease, as well as trauma and disability.
- It is estimated that between 165,000 – 205,000 people in the UK live with a stoma, and that 21,000 people have stoma surgery each year[i],[ii],iii.
- While the formation of a stoma is a life-saving procedure for many, it can result in physical and psychological challenges for people in their post-surgery lives.
- Leakage in particular is a major challenge and can be a constant source of worry, in addition to causing painful skin complications, unpleasant odour and isolation, as well as career and relationship challenges
Danish medical device company Coloplast develops products and services designed to make life easier for people with intimate health conditions. Coloplast listens to end-users to better understand their needs and responds by bringing the best ideas to market in the form of medical devices and service solutions. Visit Coloplast.us for more information.
Global press contact
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+45 4911 2623
UK press contact
Head of Government Affairs & Patient Advocacy
Managing Director, Public Affairs, Four Health
[i] NHS Digital. NHS Digital Hospital Admitted Patient Care Activity 2020.