The NHS has always celebrated ‘health and care heroes’ for staff, carers and volunteers, to give recognition to those colleagues who put patients first and go above and beyond the call of duty. But never has the celebration of NHS heroes been so important as this year! The Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic of 2020 has brought more than the usual stresses and strain on NHS departments, with thousands of NHS healthcare workers working under extremely challenging circumstances, leaving them emotionally and physically exhausted. Many of these health care professionals continue to work around the clock, putting their lives on the line on a daily basis to treat those who are critically ill and in need.
As a thank you to these doctors, nurses and carers on the front line, the nation came together over the summer each Thursday at 8pm, to applaud them all for their courage, selflessness and sheer commitment. A feeling of togetherness rippled through the country, as the loud claps and the rattles of pans could be heard for miles, during an extremely isolating and frightening time.
The hidden heroes of the NHS are also crucial to our NHS. Without facility management teams such as cleaners, reception staff, porters, transport staff, security guards and many more, who work tirelessly round the clock. The departments within the NHS and GP services would not be able to function. These members of staff who work behind the scenes are not formally recognised or seen but are now very much celebrated amongst the NHS heroes of 2020.
Community Stoma Care Nurse:
Covid-19 has no boundaries and life out of the hospital environment also comes with risks for everyone involved in the caring profession. The Government gave strict advice for everyone regarding the national lockdown of early summer, what symptoms to look out for and when to self-isolate. The advice is now being continuously updated on how to be tested for Covid-19, when to self- isolate and how long for, the local/regional tier systems, and more recently lockdown 2.0.
Yet nursing care for people in community has continued throughout. Your NHS stoma care nurses and Goldcare community stoma care nurses, come equipped with vast knowledge, plenty of PPE and continue to offer support and advice with all elements of stoma care. Telephone consultations are always readily available for those who are keen to discuss any issues relating to their stoma, such as leaks, sore skin or other changes in their stoma. Home visits are triaged and those in need are still being seen in their own homes, if this is deemed necessary.
Thorough Covid-19 screening is carried out before all home visit to ensure safety of both the patient and your stoma care nurse. PPE is always available to your stoma care nurse, who will wear the appropriate PPE before stepping through your door. If you or a family member has tested positive for Covid-19, always inform your community nurse so that she/he can continue to support you in a way that is safe for all involved.
Oakmed Advice Centre:
At Oakmed there are a team of product experts who will help you with any stoma related product enquiries or ordering issues. They can guide you through what you or a family member will need each month and will contact your GP on your behalf for your products and prescriptions.
If you need to speak with a stoma care nurse, don’t hesitate to ask and the product specialists will guide you to one who is in your area. A phone call from your stoma nurse can help put your mind at rest with any worries or concerns you may have about your stoma, so don’t hesitate to ask.
Charities and support contacts:
For those who have any questions about their stoma or need support or advice, there are charities who are happy to help. They can often put you in touch with other people who have a stoma, so that you can talk through your experiences which can help.
Colostomy Association: 0800 328 4257
Ileostomy & Internal Pouch Association: 0800 018 4724
Purple Wings Charity: 01905 760 735