Specialist nurses are among experts launching an independent working group and project aiming to ensure high-quality care and management for all patients with a stoma in England.
The group, called Advancing Stoma Care Services: Evidence-based Proposals for a Best Practice Pathway (ASCS), is also made up of surgeons, third-sector representatives and healthcare consultants.
The launch of ASCS was announced by Coloplast UK and Ireland at the Association of Stoma Care Nurses UK Annual Conference in Brighton on Monday.
The group – led by Dr Peter Carter, independent healthcare consultant and former chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing – includes Natasha Rolls, lead stoma care nurse, as well as Filipe Carvalho, colorectal nurse consultant, and Alex Hall, inflammatory bowel disease nurse consultant.
To achieve its aims, ASCS will collectively identify an ‘evidence-based national and standardised best practice pathway’ for stoma care.
Despite an estimated 160,000 to 205,000 people living with a stoma in the UK, and 21,000 people who are thought to require stoma formation surgery each year, there is currently a lack of National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance on stoma care, said Coloplast.
At present, it is left to the various NHS organisations to develop their own stoma care management pathways.
Dr Carter said: ‘I’m excited to be leading this project group and by our shared vision to implement a practical solution to ensure everyone living with a stoma has access to the same level of care wherever they receive treatment, so that no one is left behind.’
He added: ‘To do this, our project will explore what best practice in stoma care looks like, including recognition of the important role of specialist nurses, and ensure that our recommendations are based on the best available, current, valid and relevant evidence.’