The aim of the Colorectal (bowel) and stoma care Clinical Nurse Specialists is to support people who are diagnosed as having bowel cancer OR who have a stoma, (colostomy, ileostomy or urostomy). They function as the key workers or main point of contact for patients and their families.
Part of their role is to:
- Provide information about the condition, diagnosis and treatment
- To support family and carers and to provide advice and health education in relation to colorectal related diseases and surgery.
- To help link people to various national and local organisations/support groups.
- To liaise between different members of the multidisciplinary team and co-ordinate tests and treatment appropriately.
For stoma patients they aim to provide teaching and support both pre and post operatively. As well as seeing patients on the hospital wards, they offer comprehensive follow up, advice, and a wide range of appliances to suit all needs. The Clinical Nurse Specialists provide lifestyle and dietary advice and provide a ‘buddy’ system where new patients can chat to another person who has a stoma, which many find beneficial and reassuring.