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Shropshire hospitals improve toilet accessibility

By Lisa O'Brien | Shrewsbury | Health | Published:

The trust which runs Shropshire’s two main hospitals has improved its accessible toilets to help patients and visitors living with a stoma.

Every single accessible toilet at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, which are run by The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), 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 help to 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.

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.

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“We are delighted that SaTH has now made these additions to their 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.

Lisa O'Brien

By Lisa O'Brien
Senior Reporter - @lisaobrien_Star

Senior reporter based at Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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