Bowel surgery can leave people with challenging physical and emotional issues. This year, OCCTOPUS wants to help the stoma nursing team deliver even better care to patients post-surgery.
In 2017, more than 700 people had surgery to remove their bowel or part of their colon at Oxfordshire’s hospitals, including the Children’s Hospital. While patients receive excellent care during their stay, upon returning home people sometimes find it difficult to cope and tell us they don’t know where to turn for practical help.
Some main concerns are learning to manage a stoma, coping with lifestyle changes, finding and using the right equipment and dealing with sadness, anxiety or feelings of helplessness. Rather than being isolated, people tell us they would prefer to be proactively involved in their recovery so they can get back to their everyday lives as soon as possible.
We are very fortunate to have a dedicated stoma nursing team in Oxfordshire, who often become friends for life. They see us in our homes, at care homes, and in clinics right across the county. OCCTOPUS would like to help the team meet the needs of those who may be struggling post-surgery.
We wish to equip the specialist stoma nursing team with the very best resources so they can provide even better care, even more specialised help. For example:
– Stoma mannequins, dilators and equipment for demonstrations and for people to “practise” on so they can learn how to manage their “new” body
– Stoma kits for children (designed for small hands and small bodies)
– To host talks by specialists on nutrition, counselling, and mental health at group sessions that the team hold at locations across the county
– To help the team reach out to all patients after surgery, their carers and families, to enhance self-confidence, a positive body image, health and wellbeing and a speedy return to everyday life.
With the right support, provided in a timely manner, people can flourish after bowel surgery. We do not want anyone to feel they are facing a daunting challenge, unclear how to cope, unsure if they are doing things right or struggling alone with physical and mental health issues.
For more information, please email Marianne.firstname.lastname@example.org.