The Urostomy Association (UA) was formed to assist people who are about to undergo or who have undergone surgery resulting in a urinary diversion/ileal conduit. The Association was founded at the Christie Hospital in 1971 by a group of people who realised the special needs of persons with a urostomy.
In May 1971, Laurie Kenefick, a charge nurse at the Christie Hospital, where he later became a Nursing Officer, was attending the Spring meeting of the Ileostomy Association at St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester, where he met Valerie Kings, who had received a urinary diversion in January of that year and was having serious problems with her appliance.
Although it had been suggested that Valerie might obtain help and guidance at the IA meeting, in fact, urostomates could only be associate members of the IA and the only topics discussed at the meeting were ileostomy related.
At that time there were no disposable appliances, few appliance manufacturers and no designated stoma nurses.
Laurie, however, was nursing people with stomas every day and was very committed to their welfare, so that not surprisingly, his tea-time chat with Valerie was a long protracted one.
Not only was advice sought and given, but Laurie and Valerie also decided to investigate the formation of an association specifically for people with a urinary stoma, an idea that Laurie had nurtured for some time. Laurie contacted all the urologists in the Manchester area and Valerie wrote to all the patients known to them.
They met with much scepticism but were not deterred and in September 1971, the fledgling group, comprising 25 members and two company representatives, held its first meeting at the Christie Hospital. After much discussion, it was decided to go ahead and form an association for people with urinary stomas.
Another meeting was held in early 1972 to draw up the constitution and to prepare for registration as a charity. Also present at that meeting were Mr Raymond Carroll, a urologist at the Christie Hospital, who agreed to be the first National President and Peter Baines, who agreed to be the Treasurer, a position he held until his death in 1996.
1974 saw the introduction of Stoma Nurses, or Stomatherapists, as they were known then. The three ostomy organisations were instrumental in lobbying the DHSS to create this specialised field of nursing.
In 1985 Valerie Kings resigned as National Secretary because of worsening mobility problems due to multiple sclerosis. She was later honoured by being asked to be National Chairman of the Association and by the award of the MBE.
The first edition, Journal No1, June 1972. It consisted of 20 pages, half of which were adverts. Also included were details of the first meeting of the UIA as it was first called, The Urinary Ileostomy Association, held on 4 March 1972, along with details of committee members etc. It also gave the information that total subscriptions amounted to £16. How things have changed in 40 years!
The UA is a charitable company limited by guarantee. Registered Charity No 1131072.