Meet our Stoma Nurses
Bladder & Bowel Home Delivery Service - putting our members first
Originally published on: July 28th, 2021. Last modified on September 1st, 2021
At the Bladder and Bowel Home Delivery service our aim is to put our members first, which is why we have a stoma nurse service available to all our members either by phone, a video call or a personal visit depending on where you live.
Meet our Stoma Nurses
Sam Cottrell – Clinical Nurse Manager & Specialist Stoma Nurse
Sam is a specialist stoma nurse, with a background in colorectal ward care, district nursing, critical care and intestinal failure. She has worked predominantly in the NHS. She is also a nurse prescriber.
Luci Georgeson – Specialist Stoma Care Nurse
Nichola Lovelady – Specialist Stoma Care Nurse
Kimberly Harrison – Specialist Stoma Care Nurse
Kim is a specialist stoma nurse and has been a registered nurse for 12 years. Her nursing background is extensively in intestinal failure, stoma care and nutrition. She has worked as a staff nurse and a sister on the Intestinal Failure Unit at Salford Royal and multiple specialist nurse posts in acute and commercial nursing. She has also nursed many patients acutely as inpatients and supported patients in the community covering various specialities such as colorectal, urology, gynaecology and peritoneal sclerosis.
Do you have any questions for our team?
At the Bladder and Bowel Community, we know that choosing the right home delivery service and caring for your stoma is vital and that you may have some questions. We’ve taken a few of your questions and answered them.
What is the Bladder and Bowel Home Delivery Service?
The Bladder and Bowel Home Delivery service can deliver your appliances such as stoma bags, catheters, irrigation systems and accessories to your door. We can also arrange and deliver your prescription medication to you each month along with your supplies. We will liaise directly with your GP so that hassle is taken away from you and you can order a range of complimentary items such as dry wipes, wet wipes, hand sanitizer and refuse bags.
How can the home delivery service support me with my stoma?
When you join our home delivery service, you will be assigned a personal advisor who will give you a call each month to see how you are and ask what supplies you need for the next month. If you are having any issues with your stoma, you can also arrange to speak to one of our stoma nurses by phone, video call or by person depending on where you live. All of our stoma nurses are very experienced and can help you with a variety of issues.
How do I know whether I’m wearing the right stoma bag for me?
Having the right bag is a very personal choice. What works for one person, may not necessarily work for you. There are so many different bags to choose from and your stoma nurse can help you find the right one. Having a bag that fits correctly and is the right size will help you feel more comfortable.
How do I make sure that my stoma bag fits correctly?
By making sure that your bags are cut to fit snugly (but not too tight) around your stoma. This will help to prevent output from seeping underneath the wafer and causing sore skin and leaks. You can use the templates provided in the box with your stoma supplies to measure your stoma. If you’re really struggling then a stoma nurse can help you with this. The Home Delivery service can pre cut all of your bags for you so that you don’t have to. Remember to check the size and shape of your stoma regularly as it can change over time, especially if you’ve recently had surgery or lost/gained weight.
I’m struggling with ballooning in my stoma bag, how can I prevent it?
While bags have filters, when they get wet they can stop working as well and you might find the bag gets filled with wind. Everyone produces wind, it’s just that now it goes into your bag rather than you being able to let it out yourself. Some people find that avoiding wind producing food can help, things like onions, or cutting out fizzy drinks. If you’ve a drainable bag you can “burp” the bag to let the excess wind out.
How do I know whether I need a convex stoma bag?
Convex bags have a domed baseplate rather than flat and are used to help push the stoma out more. These are normally needed by people who have flush or retracted stomas. Convex bags can cause problems with your skin and should only be used if your Stoma nurse has advised that you use them. If you are having problems and think that a convex bag might be needed then please make an appointment to see your Stoma nurse.
I’m worried about getting a hernia. How do I get the right hernia support for me?
You may be able to get hernia support wear on prescription, but it will depend on the local prescribing guidelines. If you speak to our Stoma Nurse they will be able to let you know what is available in your area. There are different levels, level 1 is the same as the shapewear that you can buy on the high street so it is worth trying one of those first. Vanilla Blush, one of the companies that provide hernia support wear, often have sales on their items, so you can buy one to try before requesting it on prescription. If you are eligible to receive these on prescription then we can order and deliver your support wear along with your supplies.
My skin is getting sore around my stoma, what can I do about it?
Sore skin can make life really miserable. First of all you should look at why your skin is sore, is it because the hole in your bag isn’t the right size so output is seeping onto your skin? Or are you having lots of leaks? If you are then make an appointment to see your Stoma Nurse for advice. If your skin is sore then using a barrier spray can help, these are available on prescription. A good home remedy is Gaviscon liquid, just dab it on the skin and let it dry before applying your bag.
Mine keeps peeling off in certain areas, how can I get my bag to stick properly?
If your clothes rub against the edges of your baseplate it can cause the edges to lift up. Once this happens it’s really difficult to get it to stick back down again. You can either use some micropore tape to stick it back down, or you can get something called flange extenders on prescription. Flange extenders are a semi-circle shape and stick round the edges of your baseplate giving you that extra bit of security. Ask your advisor about how you can get flange extenders on prescription.
I’ve heard about irrigation to help keep stoma output under control. How do I know if this is right for me?
Irrigation is where warm water is flushed into the colon to ‘wash it out’ using an irrigation device. This is only suitable for certain people who have a colostomy and if used regularly at a certain time each day, it can help to train the colon to empty in a regular, predictable manner meaning you don’t have to worry about emptying your bag during the day.
It’s important to note that this process isn’t for everyone and isn’t suitable for anyone with active bowel disease or those on chemotherapy. It can also be time consuming to begin with and can take time to get the bowel into a regular rhythm. If you are interested in irrigation, it is important that you discuss this with your stoma nurse first.
We hope that this answers some of your questions. If you do have any further questions about stoma care then please do get in contact with us by speaking to your personal advisor via Home Delivery. If you want to know more about the Home Delivery Service, call FREE on 0800 031 5406 or visit our web page https://www.bladderandbowel.org/homedelivery/ and fill in the contact form.