It’s no secret that we’re passionate in our aim to improve the amount of support that’s available to those within the Inflammatory Bowel Disease community.

With this in mind in March 2016 we had an idea!  ‘Let’s see if we can host a ‘virtual stoma care clinic’ we thought to ourselves.
So with that in mind we set about trying to enlist the help of a stoma care nurse.

We pitched our idea to our friends over at Securicare Medical who have their own team of medically trained stoma care nurses and needless to say they were just as excited as we were!
We soon started to plan how we would make our ‘virtual stoma care clinic’ which could effectively be a 1-1 nurse-led web chat a reality and get this pioneering idea off the ground!
GetYourBellyOut stoma clinic
The pilot, which was available exclusively to #GetYourBellyOut campaign supporters required participants to fill in a short form over on the Securicare website. They were asked for a brief outline of what their questions or concerns were and encouraged to submit any relevant photos (for example if someone was having trouble with skin irritation) before their consultation.
The reason for completing these forms upfront was to allow the trained stoma care nurses extra time to call upon their years of experience and wealth of knowledge to track down the best possible solutions.

Those who agreed to take part were given one of six allotted appointment times, between the hours of 5pm – 9pm where they would receive a call with a trained stoma care nurse by using web based technology. Each person involved in this scheme was allowed up to 20 minutes and all questions that were raised during the discussions were followed up afterwards.

Our online stoma care clinic went really well and from the feedback that we received, all parties involved in this first of it’s kind initiative thought that it was a great success! This forward thinking approach enabled us to provided a private, safe and confidential environment in which our supporters could discuss their concerns, all from the comfort of their own homes.

In this fast paced, modern society we feel it’s important to make the most of these ever expanding advances in technology in order to provide the best care possible. The hope going forward is that these nurse-led web chats (be these ostomy or IBD related) will help in a number of ways. For example, they will be able to save patients having to take time off work or education as instead of sitting in clinical waiting areas, they can tap into these ‘virtual clinics’ from a location that’s most convenient for them.

These 1-1 nurse-led web chats offer a much welcomed alternative for those who live in remote parts of the UK, that would otherwise have to spent hours travelling to and from their nearest hospital.  This new set up would not only save time but also money. The aim is to ensure that these illnesses don’t have a negative impact upon someone’s daily life, especially when experiencing a period of ‘good health’.

We look forward to seeing how this idea evolves in the future and hope that this style of clinic becomes a reality for many of us.