31 July 2019

SaTH has improved its accessible toilets to help patients and visitors living with a stoma.

Every single accessible toilet at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, which are run by the Trust, is now stoma friendly.

People with stomas have additional needs when they use the toilet, and the provision of hook, shelf, mirror and disposal bin in every accessible toilet will meet these needs and make a great difference to people with stomas who are patients or visitors to the hospitals.

The Trust’s Estates and Community Engagement teams have worked closely with Colostomy UK to roll out the improvements at both hospitals.

Kate Ballinger, centre, with Irene Constable and Libby Herbert from Colostomy UK

Chris Hood, Head of Operational Estates at SaTH, said: “It is really important to us that our facilities are as accessible as they can be. The Estates teams on both sites have been working with our colleagues in Community Engagement to upgrade our accessible toilets to the stoma friendly standards put out by Colostomy UK.”

Kate Ballinger, Community Engagement Officer at SaTH, said: “This is a great example of how we can improve our services by working collaboratively with our patients and the public.”

Irene Constable, Patient Representative for Colostomy UK, said: “People with a stoma have additional needs when using the toilet and they worry about going out in public in case they can’t find suitable facilities; even a simple day trip can be a potential source of anxiety.

“Having a hook on the door, shelf space, a mirror, and a disposal bin in every cubicle are simple and affordable changes that are easy to implement and can make a huge difference to quality of life for people living with a stoma, encouraging people to go out with more confidence, thus reducing isolation.

“We are delighted that SaTH has now made these additions to the disabled access toilets to help those living with a stoma.”

Stoma surgery is undertaken to treat a range of illnesses including cancer, diverticulitis and Crohn’s disease or following trauma to the abdomen. A stoma is an opening on the surface of the abdomen which has been surgically created to divert the flow of faeces and/or urine. This is then collected in a bag. People of all ages have stoma surgery, including children.

It is estimated that one in 500 people in the UK have a stoma. More information is available here: www.colostomyuk.org