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SCN Care During Lockdown

It comes as no surprise that the UK is in complete lockdown at the moment. GP surgeries have closed doors. Telephone appointments are now an important part of receiving treatment. I know that today from personal experience that going into the surgery involves being guided in, they mask you up, then you wash your hands and apply hand sanitiser. All this to have my bloods done and calprotectin taken because I am in a flare. scn

So what does this have to do with SCN care? 

All hospitals at present have cancelled all pre-existing appointments, most elective surgeries unless it is directly coronavirus related. 

A&E departments are still open but this is only for dire emergencies. 

In this day and age of being able to use and abuse digital connections, it seems to come as a bit of a surprise that this isn’t more readily used as a way for consultants, nurses or GP’s to diagnose or treat a patient. 

I know from personal experience that we occasionally sit home and grin and bear certain things that happen with stoma life as we don’t wish to be a burden or abuse the system for something that may generally need a quick fix. 

With all SCN clinics being on lockdown and all open days and stoma events being cancelled you may be left in a slight tiz trying to work out how to get the help needed when your stoma or stoma site is playing up. 

I spent a few days this week chasing my stoma nurses and leaving a few tearful messages on their voicemail.

Since January I have had ulcers popping up on my stoma. My last appointment with the IBD clinic said oh see your stoma nurse we don’t deal with that. 

Well, it turns out 4 months down the line my stoma is absolutely riddled with ulcers and my IBD clinic have not been delivering a level of care which I can understand in this present climate but they can’t just put everything on my stoma nurse when I know for a fact she can’t do anything to help because yes it’s on my stoma, but its not stoma related. It’s Crohns related. 

How to contact your SCN

Contacting your stoma nurse is easier than you think. If you type in the hospital you are under into google it will bring up the switchboard number, you can call them and then request to be put through to the stoma clinic/nurse. They will bleep the stoma nurse for you or you can leave a voicemail for them to contact you back. The general timescale for a call back is within one working day if they don’t deem it as an emergency. Emergency callbacks are usually within a few hours. 

You now have the option to take photos of your site with your phone and email it over to the clinic so they can give a diagnosis over the phone. The other alternative if the situation is an emergency is to get a community stoma nurse out to you at home to help you with your current needs. 

My diagnosis was done via email and I have now traumatised my IBD nurse by sending about 20 photos of my stoma and the ulcers in all its glory…. 

My stoma nurse said my ileostomy looks pretty bad with a flare-up but my stoma site looks amazing and my reply was all thanks to vitamin E and Eakin seals 😉

The help for you is there if needed. If it’s something like wanting or needing things such as barrier creams, barrier rings, adhesive remover or just wishing to try a different bag then all companies at present are running and open. You can request online samples and still have them delivered to you at home. 

Have any of you struggled to get the care you need recently? Have you found your SCN’S to be going above the board in making sure you get the help? Would love to hear your feedback. 

As always 

Many thanks for reading

Stay safe, heroes are currently wearing blanket capes and binging on Netflix

Louise X

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