Ordering Stoma Supplies

I recently saw a post on Facebook with a lady saying she had finally got around to sorting and organising her stoma supplies.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t the  tidiness that caught my eye – but the sheer amount of products she had stockpiled.  Me and Ste both have ostomies and have nowhere near that amount and I thought I would address why and how we manage our supplies in this post.

My Delivery Company – Bullen

I get my stoma supplies delivered from Bullen.  I have previously written a review on them so won’t go on too much, but find them fantastic!  You can check out my review here

Bullen call me every month so I can place an order.  Sometimes I ask for an extra 2-4 weeks till I order if I have plenty of stock.  They are brilliant and don’t ever forget to call which means I don’t run out.  This definitely takes the pressure off me trying to remember, which is good as I have a memory like a sieve!

How Often and What I Order

So I place an order roughly every 1-2 months.  I normally get two boxes of bags – I use Salts Confidence BE bags and order whichever two colours I am short of.  I change my bag almost every day and get thirty in a box.  I will then order three packs of wet and three packs of dry wipes which are supplied by Bullen.  I get two or three (depending on my stock) each of adhesive remover spray and barrier spray.  I use the Salts adhesive remover and the Trio barrier spray.  I also order a box of the Trio adhesive remover wipes as find this is good to remove any sticky residue when I take off my bag,.  I will also order two or three packs of the Trio baseplate extenders.  There are twenty in a packet so there are ten uses in each as you use two.  I don’t use these every day and so order as and when needed.  I also occasionally use the Brava ostomy powder but I literally only need to get one every siz months roughly as they last ages!  That was one of the things that stood out to me in the Facebook post I mentioned at the start of this post – the lady had about 15 bottles of this which would take years to use, even if you use it every day!  I also get a pack of disposable rubbish bags from Bullens.

I am very grateful for the NHS who supply my ostomy products and feel this system should not be abused.  Over ordering happens so often in the ostomy community and it is something ostomates need to be aware of.  With so many cuts happening we need to ensuyre that this can stay in place, so ordering just the items we need is very important.  I always suggest having a little spare stock, just in case your delivery is delayed for a little while which could be due to a number of reasons (holiday, snowy weather, prescription issues etc).  But please don’t be stockpiling years worth of products – so much can change including the products we use and I hate to see things going to waste.

OstoBuddy App

The OstoBuddy app is an app designed for ostomates to help them monitor their ostomy and supplies.

Check out the OstoBuddy website for links to download on Apple App Store and Google Play

There are sections in the app to document your supplies so you can keep track of the stock you have.  You can enter when you have used products so it is easy to see when you need to re-order and what you need to re-order.  You can also track your output and remind yourself of when you last did a bag change.

It’s so good and helps remind me when I need to change my bag and how many I’ve left.  You can add photos to it to track your skin if it is sore.  You can write down little notes on it too.  The new version that is out now lets you track your output, it’s consistency and the amount.  My memory is awful and this app is amazing and helps me remember when it is time to change my bag, how many bags I have left and when it’s time to order.

Lisa

This is definitely worth a try if you struggle to keep track of your stock and it is free to download.  

Christmas Order Date

Last but not least I wanted to share the final dates to order your stoma supplies to guarantee delivery before Christmas.

Trio Ostomy Care – Wednesday 19th December (UK only)

Coloplast Charter – Friday 7th December

CliniMed & SecuriCare – Friday 14th December

Medilink – Friday 14th December

Bullen – Wednesday 12th December (stoma producst/medication orders) and Monday 17th December (stoma products only)

Respond – Monday 17th December

Pelican – – Wednesday 19th December

I hope this has been helpful and gives you an idea of how to go about ordering your supplies. Please feel free to message or comment if you would like help with anything I have mentioned above and don’t forget to get your Christmas orders in ASAP!

BlogMas Day Eight – Unboxing Stoma Supplies (video)

So thought I would mix it up a little bit and make a video instead of a written post for you all!  The link is

And I hope you all enjoy it!  Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel to see more videos from me and please feel free to ask any questions in the comments or by messaging the page

Happy Friday to you all xx

The Spoonie Mummy Reviews – Bullen Healthcare Delivery Company

So I wrote this post over a week ago and then didn’t save it properly – doh!  So here we go again!

bullen

Today my recommendation is for my stoma supplies delivery company – Bullen Healthcare.  I previously used another company which was the one I was ‘given’ by my stoma nurse when I left hospital.  I had some problems with them not calling when they said they would do.  I then had a huge issue with them not delivering an order three times which almost resulted in me running out of supplies.  The contact from them during this time was also really poor which was disappointing to me.  Had I been kept informed of what was happening and not left to chase them before being fobbed off every time I called, I would have been more accepting of the issue.  It was at this time I started thinking about changing my company as had seen others on stoma support groups do the same so now knew this was possible.

I hadn’t got round to starting to look into the other companies that are around, when I got a call from Bullen. I had ordered a sample and they were calling to see how I had got on with it.  The man I spoke to then mentioned they had their own delivery service and I asked for some more information due to the problems I had been having with mine.  He explained they would arrange a monthly call for me to place my order and it would be delivered around a week later on a mutually convenient date.  These were all promises that I had been offered with the previous company so you can imagine I wasn’t holding my breath at this point!  He  then went on to list all the complimentary products Bullen offer and I can’t say this wasn’t a lure – I love a freebie!

The change over was extremely easy and efficient and I didn’t have to worry about anything at all.  My first delivery came and was actually delivered to my mum’s as I was spending some time there in the Summer holidays with the boys last year.  This also wasn’t a problem for Bullen who added her address as a temporary one and meant I was not having to worry about running out of supplies while a two and a half hour drive from home!

I’m pleased to report they stick to calling on the pre arranged date each month to arrange my next delivery.  This is good as I don’t have to worry about remembering myself.  My memory isn’t the best with the brain fog and medications I am on so it’s something less for me to worry about.  The delivery comes roughly a week later and is always well and discreetly packaged.

I have only had two issues since they took over my deliveries.  One was a missing complimentary item (wet wipes) in my first delivery.  They called me the day following my delivery, as promised, to check how it had gone and if I was happy.  I let them know and they offered to send them straight out to me after apologising.  As it wasn’t a specialist item like my bags or adhesive remover, I declined, as I can use dampened dry wipes or baby wipes instead, but I appreciated the offer.

The second issue was actually not with them as such, but Parcelforce, who deliver some of Bullen’s supplies depending on where you live.  I had been admitted to hospital a few days before my delivery was due.  I asked my mum to pop over to my house that evening to pick up some bits and also asked her to retrieve my parcel from the garden as my delivery instructions are to leave over the back gate if I am not in.  She let me know she had been round after work but saw no sign of any parcel.

When she popped over to my house a couple of days later, one of my neighbours ran across the road, parcel in hand.  It had been left on my front doorstep in the rain and he had even attempted to blow-dry the seriously soggy parcel bless him! Obviously the weather can’t be helped but in this day and age where we are advised to be super security conscious I wasn’t happy that my name and address details were left on display for anyone to see.  Also, anyone could have taken the parcel, leaving me short of supplies and the NHS out of pocket as I am sure they wouldn’t have been able to use them and I would have needed a second prescription that month!  When I spoke to Bullen about what happened they were grateful to me for passing on my concerns and logged the incident after confirming my delivery instructions are definitely to leave the parcel over the back gate!  Any further issues I have been asked to report and they will escalate it with the delivery company.

I now get a phone call and delivery once a month.  I was sent a new mirror, stoma supplies bag, emergency supplies bag and scissors with my first order.  The bag is a great size and has a hook at the top, meaning it can be hung in my bathroom which makes getting my supplies out while changing my bag much easier.  I receive wet wipes, dry wipes, bed pads, hand sanitizer and disposable bags as needed with my monthly order.  Bullen’s dry wipes are so good too – super soft, large and absorbent!

The staff are always friendly and polite, checking how I am and will also recommend new products for me to try out occasionally.  I  don’t like feeling like I am being harassed by pushy sales people when stoma products are recommended to me and this has never been the case with Bullen.  I currently have a good system that works for me but am willing to give new products a try, so will always accept the offer of a trial sample before opting to change my prescription.

If like I was, you are looking for a new delivery company, I would definitely recommend you give Bullen a try.  They deliver stoma, urostomy and wound care products and are now also delivering prescription medication too I believe.  I have now been with them for 9 months and couldn’t be happier with the service they have provided so far.  A definite hit!

I have popped a link to their website below which has a contact phone number and an online form you can submit if you would like them to contact you.

http://www.bullens.com/

 

My Stoma Bag Changing Routine

Tonight I thought I would share my stoma bag changing routine with you! I change my bag every evening after my shower. Some people choose to leave their bag on longer and change once every 3 to 4 days. It’s personal preference and what you skin can cope with as this varies from person to person. Also, the products I use will be different to others but again, it’s all about what works for you!

1 – First I have to remove the old bag. I use the Salts Wipe Away Adhesive Spray Remover to do this, which makes it less harsh than just ripping the bag from the skin. It will also help remove any sticky residue left from the flange (the name for the part of the bag which sticks to you) if there is any. There are also adhesive remover wipes that some people use although I personally don’t find these as effective.

wipeaway

2 – Next I use my sterilised wet wipes to clean my stoma and the area around it completely. I get these wet wipes as a complimentary item from my stoma products delivery company but you can also use dry wipes that you have wet with warm water or baby wipes.

wet wipes

3 – I then dry my stoma and the area around it with a dry wipe. The area around your stoma that the flange sticks to needs to be completely dry otherwise you risk the bag peeling off and causing a leak as it won’t stick properly!

dry wipes

4 – Next I use a Trio Elisse Sting Free Skin Barrier wipe around my stoma and on any sore patches of skin. Again, there are lots of different brands offer skin barriers and there are wipe, spray and cream varieties. This one has always worked well for me so I am sticking with it! It dries itself pretty quickly if left for a few seconds.

trio

 

5 – If my skin is so sore it is weeping I will use the Brava powder next. I put it directly onto the sore areas then use a dry wipe to pat it in and dust off any excess. This helps the new bag stick as it dries the area that is weeping out and also aids the healing process.

brava powder

6 – These strips are the Brava Elastic Tape flange extenders. They can be used around the bag but I cut them up and pop them around my stoma to protect my skin. There are products called barrier rings but I find them bulky and they make my bag stick out whereas these are much thinner and they do the job for me perfectly! They are great for if the bag hole is cut slightly too big as they stop any output getting onto the skin underneath the gap and making it sore.

strips

7 – I use the Salts bags and couldn’t be happier with them! I have had 2 leaks since I started using them and in about 5 months that is pretty good going! Compared to the Sensura Mio which I was using before in which I regularly had 2 or 3 leaks daily you can see the difference! Again, bag choice is completely personal and what works for some doesn’t for others. I have friends who love the Mio and get on great with it! I have to cut a hole in the flange to the size of my stoma (mine is roughly 20 x 23mm). The scissors pictured are new ones from my stoma nurse and they are perfect for this! Small, bent so it’s easy to cut a circle and blunt so I don’t poke a hole in the bag! I then pull off the backing and place it over my stoma carefully before ensuring the whole flange is stuck down well with a good rub. And always remember to close up and fold in the bottom of the bag….You only make the mistake of forgetting once!!!

8 – If I feel I need some extra support I will pop a couple of the Brava Elastic Tape flange extenders around the outside of the flange. This is a good idea if I am going to be doing something that is more likely to cause a leak, such as driving long distances as the bag is scrunched up in the sitting position for a long time. It just gives you a bit more confidence that it will stay in place without leaking and you will get some extra warning time if it does!

Hope this gives a little insight into what we ostomates have to do to change our bags for those of you who don’t know! I’m happy to answer questions so feel free to comment on the post or message the page if you have any!