Underlining relationships – an ASCN Conference report

10th November 2015

The International Convention Centre in Birmingham was the venue for this year’s Association of Stoma Care Nurses (ASCN) Conference. Well over 500 stoma specialist nurses attended the event, which took place recently on October 18th, 19th and 20th. This was a record attendance, which included representatives from five overseas countries, including the USA.

Every year, the Urostomy Association and other charities associated with ostomy care are kindly given space at this prestigious conference, which is accompanied by an extensive exhibition of stoma care products and services. This year, our customary exhibition stand was manned by our National Secretary Hazel Pixley and by Brian Fretwell, Chairman of our National Executive Committee.

The attendees are mainly stoma care nurses from all around the UK, so it is a very useful forum for us to liaise with the people who after all are the gateway to new patients. By speaking to them at this annual event we are able to promote the Association, and by listening to any comments they may have about the work we do we can be confident that we are providing the right kind of peer support for their patients. It is pleasing to report that this year we had a good deal of interest from nurses from all over the UK, from as far north as Inverness and as far south as Truro. Thank you to everyone who dropped by our stand to talk to us.

Many of our new patient packs were handed out and orders taken for many more to be forwarded to nurses at their own hospitals – the pack now includes a copy of our Journal as well as an invitation for patients to join UA free of charge for the first year. We received compliments from several of the nurses who use our literature – including comments such as “we like your leaflets because they are very clear and easy to understand”.

The close relationship that we have with stoma care professionals has recently been underlined with two new UA awards for stoma nurses who have a) undertaken research into a urology related topic (£500), or b) compiled a relevant case study (£250). In each case, the money is awarded to the department at the hospital where the nurse works. This year’s submissions have been judged by the ASCN committee, totally independently of the Urostomy Association.

Winners of the 2015 ASCN Stoma Care Nurse Research Awards, sponsored by the Urostomy Association

For research – Diane Leach, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Stoma care/Urology at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

For Case Study – Sandie Bryan, Stoma Care Nurse at Salisbury District Hospital. Our thanks go to all of the nursing professionals who made a submission, and our congratulations go to the 2015 winners. A full account of the winning submissions will appear in the Spring edition of the Journal.