Dumfries & Galloway IA

The Dumfries and Galloway Group began in 1997 as a Branch of the West of Scotland IA through the initiative of Derek Oliphant. Derek, a Dumfries man, felt that the W of S IA was just a wee bit remote for ostomists in this area. With the help of Sister Isabel Williams he contacted as many as possible of stoma patients in D & G and invited them to a meeting to discuss the feasibility of setting up an IA Branch.

The meeting was a success and in no time a committee was formed and things started to move. Such was the support that membership rose from 29, these had been transferred from W of S to the new branch, to over a hundred within months. Building on this success the Branch became a separate Group in 1998 and was designated a Recognised Scottish Charity.

The group now has members meetings at regular intervals in Dumfries and, when possible, in Stranraer and Newton Stewart. The committee appointed a Visits Co-ordinator for the purpose of visiting, in hospital or at home, people who may have to undergo or have undergone stoma surgery.

These visits are arranged by the Specialist Stoma Care Nurse at the patient's request. The visits can be of great benefit especially just after surgery. As one lady put it "When I saw Helen walk into the ward so well turned out I realized there was life after surgery".

While essentially a support group, we do get involved in other things and try to arrange Speakers covering various topics at our meetings. Outings are also organised and have proved quite popular. This will of course continue.

If you require help or assistance or perhaps wish to know more about IA please feel free to contact any of the committee members.