Peterborough medical firm Coloplast leads Relay to Parliament to raise plight of people with stoma

Calls to Statement is presented to MPs

Tuesday, 26th July 2022, 1:35 pm

Medical devices supplier Coloplast is at the forefront of a new campaign to take the plight of people with a stoma into the corridors of power.

The Peterborough-based company, which provides intimate healthcare devices, co-hosted a special relay run to Parliament to launch a new Calls to Action statement.

The statement, which has been 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 is returning to sport, going on holiday, going to the cinema, taking their children to the park, DIY, or going to a restaurant.

Some of the people taking part in the relay that started outside the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London, and made its way over six kilometres to the Houses of Parliament.

The six kilometre relay run was led by people with a stoma alongside other members of the stoma community including nurses, third sector representatives and some MPs, started outside the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital before ending outside the Houses of Parliament.

There they were invited into Parliament for a reception to celebrate carrying the message from patients to policymakers and to educate MPs about how they can help support everyone living with a stoma across the UK.

Afterwards, a spokesperson for the event, that was supported by the charities Ileostomy and Internal Pouch Association, Urostomy Association and Colostomy UK, said: “This was a symbolic display of the activities that people with a stoma can do when they receive high quality care and support.

A stoma is an artificial opening in the body that is used to discharge waste and the surgery is performed to treat conditions, including bowel and bladder cancer and Inflammatory Bowel Disease, as well as trauma and disability.

It is estimated that between 165,000 to 205,000 people in the UK live with a stoma, and that 21,000 people have stoma surgery each year.

But leakage in particular is a major challenge and can be a constant source of worry as well as causing painful skin complications, unpleasant odour and isolation, career and relationship challenges.

Mary Speirs, Coloplast’s 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.”

Peterborough MP Paul Bristow said: “When I heard what Coloplast and the charities had planned, I knew I needed to help. This is such a special, important event.

"Parliament rarely gets to hear about stoma care, yet for each MP, there are 300 local constituents living with a stoma.

"That needs to change.

Mr Bristow added “I am proud to have run in this relay race. We’ve got to raise awareness and provide better support for people living with a stoma, not just for my city, but across the country.”

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