I am very lucky here in Nottingham UK, I have lots of ways to order supplies and good links to stoma nurses too. My stoma nurse is Kate Wilson at the Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham and she has been fantastic. I can ring her any time and she will get back to me as quickly as possible. Stoma nurses are not given as much recognition as they should have because most people don’t know they exist unless they have a stoma.
When I first had surgery Kate started me off on a 2 piece system, which is very popular. This was arranged through a company called Charter, who I have had very good care from. I managed fairly well but after a while I started to react to the adhesive. I also found it a bit bulky so Kate said for me to try the Pelican platinum mini one piece, with the Eakin seal. I have not looked back since and love it.
After I left hospital I ordered my own things straight from Charter who would then arrange my prescription from the doctors surgery. I didn’t’ have to do any running about, Charter would then deliver my items neatly packaged.
Things changed after a while because Nottingham started trialling a new way to order stoma supplies. This new system was by the Nottingham Appliance Management service ( NAMS ) part of Fittleworths ( another stoma supplier). I was to ring NAMS from now on and they would arrange my supplies through the doctors surgery. Charter would still deliver my items. You also have access to stoma nurses through NAMS.
I didn’t’ really understand why we needed NAMS and still don’t. I sometimes have trouble getting through and they have started to change things on my prescription without consulting anyone, which is not good, but when I have questioned it they say the item is unavailable. I also found out that I could still order through Charter if I wanted to.
I do feel very lucky to get free prescriptions here in the UK as I know other countries are via insurance companies, and you may not get full cover or only allowed a certain number of bags per month for example.
If I want to try another brand or spray I can request a sample from any manufacturer and if I like it, I will ring Kate at the hospital, who will alter my prescription accordingly if she thinks it is better for me.
My stoma supplies get delivered to my door in unmarked boxes, so no one knows what I have if I don’t want them too.
Sometimes I have left over stock, either because I have changed bags or have samples I don’t want. I never knew what to do with it but luckily my hospital will forward it to countries in need.
You can also follow Clare on her blog.