Carmarthenshire Ileostomate Wendy E. found herself in her city centre with a leaking ileostomy bag and no nearby public toilets to visit. So, she resorted to going inside a charity shop and asking if she could use the staff toilets. Wendy explained her reasons and showed the staff member her “No Waiting” emergency toilet access card.
Whilst the initial staff member in the Cancer Research charity shop was very sympathetic and willing to show Wendy to the toilet, she was over-rules by another staff member who reportedly said “absolutely not” and she was not allowed to use the toilet.
The “No Waiting” card is usually a credit card sized plastic card that explains the bearer of the card has a medical condition and might be in desperate need of toilet facilities and would appreciate access to the shop’s staff toilets. Because the cards are not legally binding they do rely heavily on the understanding and compassion of the store in question. In this case you would have expected the Cancer Research charity shop to be fully understanding of this considering the fact that a number of cancers can leave patients with an ileostomy.
The Cancer Research charity has since apologised to Wendy and sent information to all charity shop store managers to issue them guidance reminders. This reminder is something I personally welcome as it’s distressing enough to have a leak outside the house then to be refused access to a toilet from a store that frankly should know better and been more compassionate to this lady’s needs.
Don’t have a ‘No Waiting’ card? Most of the major ostomy products companies offer them for free or included in their home delivery services, some of the national ostomy related charities also offer them too.
If you do have a card what has your experience with it been? Has it always given you successful access to a toilet when you’ve need it or have you been denied access too? Why not leave us a comment below with your experiences or join us in our Facebook Group. http://www.facebook.com/groups/ostomyland
The original, full story reported on Wales Online can be found here (external link):