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Hospital nurse wins Stoma Care Nurse of the Year

19 December 2016

West Middlesex University Hospital lead nurse specialist Tracey Virgin-Elliston has been awarded Stoma Care Nurse of the Year in recognition of her work improving care for patients living with this often debilitating condition.

West Middlesex University Hospital lead nurse specialist Tracey Virgin-Elliston has been awarded Stoma Care Nurse of the Year in recognition of her work improving care for patients living with this often debilitating condition. 

Tracey was nominated by her colleagues who noted that she is always positive and uplifting leading to a visible difference in her patients’ mood once she has seen them. The nomination also described how patients and their families are always at the centre of her work and how even after 27 years as a specialist nurse Tracey is as passionate as ever about stoma care.

A stoma is an artificial opening on the abdomen which redirects the flow of faeces and or urine into an external pouch outside of the body and it can either be a permanent measure or temporary depending on the patient’s diagnosis or long term illness. 

The award is sponsored by Salts Healthcare, one of the UK’s oldest family-run manufactures of stoma supplies, who are based in Aston, Birmingham. Mr Phillip Salts was there to present the award to Tracey himself. He commented on just how popular a choice she had been amongst her peers and industry colleagues. 

Talking about her award Tracey said, “Initially I was surprised when my name was called out by the committee of Stoma Care Nurses but it was so rewarding to have people approach me afterward to congratulate me and who were genuinely pleased that I had won. A fellow stoma care nurse specialist said that I had been her inspiration for becoming a nurse specialist within this field, following a lecture I had given to her team some years back.” 

Aside from all the amazing care she gives in her workplace, Tracey lectures and is well published about sexual dysfunction and body image. Her aim for the New Year is to raise awareness of stoma care and to educate a public audience about her role and the fulfilled lives of her patient group. This is in the hope of removing the potential stigma people may feel and to promote the outstanding contribution achieved by this group of nurse specialist.