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“I want to bust the stigma of having a stoma” – Specialist nurse’s work recognised nationally

A stoma care nurse at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW) has been recognised as Stoma Care Nurse of the Year by the British Journal of Nursing.

Natasha Rolls, stoma care specialist nurse

Natasha Rolls’ dedication to raising awareness of this specialist nursing role, by working alongside colleagues from across the UK to developing best practice guidance, saw her receive the award at a virtual ceremony.

Natasha is proud and passionate about the role she plays in advocating for her patients. Speaking after winning the award alongside three colleagues from across the UK who collaborated on the guidance documentation, she said:

“While stoma care has changed enormously over the years, we still hear patients saying they would rather die than have a stoma.

“I want to bust the stigma of having a stoma.

“We’re working hard to make things better for our patients, such as developing the documentation I worked on with my colleagues nationally, by looking at the services and products available and working with patients to see that these can be developed to best suit their needs.

“It’s really important that our patients have a voice in the care they receive and what services are available to them. People might associate having a stoma with older generations, but we see young patients in our care, and they can need different support.

“This award is a huge honour and I’m excited for the next stages of our mission to create a social movement around stoma care.”

UHBW hosts both adult and paediatric stoma care teams, who are responsible for overseeing the care of patients with a stoma, those who might require stoma care, and bowel management when the stoma is reversed.

On average they treat 260 new patients every year and make contact with new and existing patients over 6,000 times, including looking after them pre-operatively, during their hospital admission and post-operatively, with responsive clinics and follow-up calls.