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ASCN UK Projects - Advancing Stoma Care Services


With up to 220,000 individuals living with a stoma in the UK and an increasing number requiring stoma formation each year, it is acknowledged there is a lack of standardised, evidence-based pathways for stoma care management. This has led to variations in services and unmet patient needs, despite Specialist Stoma Care Nurses’ (SSCN’s) undoubted skill, expertise and endeavour. Recognising this gap, the Advancing Stoma Care Services (ASCS) initiative aims to develop comprehensive, mandatory evidence-based pathways for stoma care, addressing the needs of patients and healthcare providers alike.

Key Objectives

  • Standardisation: Develop standardised mandatory, stoma care pathways based on evidence-based guidelines to ensure consistent, high-quality care regardless of location.
  • Patient-Centred Approach: Prioritise patient needs by integrating patient perspectives and preferences into care pathways.
  • Multidisciplinary Care: Promote multidisciplinary teamwork involving Specialist Stoma Care Nurses (SSCNs) and other healthcare professionals for holistic patient care.
  • Continuous Improvement: Establish mechanisms for continuous quality improvement in stoma care services.

Key Recommendations

  • Specialist Stoma Care Nurses (SSCNs): Recognise SSCNs as central figures in stoma care pathways, emphasising their role in providing holistic, cost-effective care and the need for specialised training.
  • Patient Education and Support: Ensure accessible information and education for patients at all stages of care, including prompt access to SSCNs and resources for patient activation and self-care.
  • Provision of Care: Offer regular reviews and monitoring post-discharge, utilise various modalities for follow-up care, facilitate patient-informed product choices, and recognise the dynamic nature of stoma management needs.
  • Priority Actions: Advocate for strategic decision-making at local and regional levels, appropriate resourcing, and the establishment of stoma patient registries for improved care and research.

Project Leadership and Structure

Initiated by Dr Terri Porrett, now led by ASCN UK, the ASCS initiative brings together over 15 key stakeholders, including healthcare professionals, academics, and professional associations. Three work streams focus on evidence gathering, pathway development, and dissemination/implementation, respectively, ensuring a comprehensive approach to addressing stoma care needs.


ASCN UK are delighted to be leading this project, with specialist stoma care nurses striving towards better patient outcomes. The ASCS initiative represents a significant step towards improving stoma care services in the UK. By developing evidence-based pathways, prioritising patient needs, and fostering multidisciplinary collaboration, the project aims to redefine expectations for stoma care and enhance outcomes for individuals living with stomas.

Support the Project

The ASCN UK is seeking expressions of interest from organisations who would like to support and jointly fund this project. Please complete the form below to register your interest in participating.

ASCN UK Project Interest
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