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Excellence in stoma care: the value of stoma care nurse specialists. Practical guidance for commissioners and leaders in health and social care. 2019a. (accessed 29 November 2019)

Stoma care nurse specialist. The hidden value of this expert nursing role and service. 2019b. (accessed 29 November 2019)

Recognising the importance of stoma care nurse specialists

26 March 2020
Volume 29 · Issue 6

Stoma surgery can be a life-altering procedure. At the last estimate, there were more than 122 000 people in the UK living with a stoma and 50% of all newly formed stomas are permanent (Virgin-Elliston et al, 2019a). Nevertheless, whether a stoma is lifelong or temporary, rehabilitation following surgery can be a lengthy process.

Adapting to life with a stoma involves a number of physical and psychological challenges and, as a result, the NHS offers the support of stoma care nurse specialists (SCNSs). These experienced professionals are experts providing a holistic approach to caring for patients by overseeing their physical and emotional wellbeing.

There are currently around 600 SCNSs working within acute and primary care settings across the UK. These nurses support the needs of around 21 000 new stoma patients each year and act as pathfinders to guide patients during their recovery (Virgin-Elliston et al, 2019a).

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