National Office Frequently Asked Questions

How do I become a member?

You can download a membership application, or join online, from the IA website here, or request membership details at We will send you information about IA and what it can offer you, together with a membership application form. Simply fill it in and send it to National Office.

How can I receive the quarterly IA Journal?

Every member of IA receives the journal quarterly free of charge. Just follow the instructions above and you will receive one automatically from your local group secretary once you have joined.

How do I make the best of a hospital or doctors’ appointment?

Please read the following NHS leaflet

Is there somewhere that I can send surplus or unwanted stoma equipment?

Jacob’s Well of Swinemoor Lane, Beverley HU17 0JX (a charity) sends medical supplies to Eastern Europe and the Middle East, and will be pleased to receive any donations of this kind. Donations can also be sent to Cradle for Life, 111 Mawney Road, Romford, RM7 7JA (Tel: 01708 760250) or Friends of Ostomates Worldwide.

What is a Radar Key and how can I obtain one?

RADAR is a national key scheme, allowing people to access specially adapted toilets, which are kept to avoid vandalism. A key costs £4.50 on declaration of disability, and can be obtained from Disability Rights UK, 12 City Forum, 250 City Road, London EC1V 8AF. Tel. 0207 250 3222, email or visit

I suffer from ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, how can I contact Crohn’s and Colitis UK?

Crohn’s and Colitis UK provides a confidential information service over the telephone and email for people affected by Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Calls and emails are answered by our Information Officers during opening hours and an answer phone is available outside these hours. Opening hours are 9am to 5pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and 9am to 1pm on Thursday, except bank holidays. Tel: 0300 222 5700. Email:

There is also a confidential, supportive listening service – Crohn’s and Colitis Support – which is provided by trained volunteers and is available to anyone who needs a safe place to talk about living with IBD. This service is available from 1pm to 3.30pm and 6.30pm to 9pm Monday to Friday, except bank holidays. Tel: 0121 737 9931.

Have you any tips on diet?

IA publishes a leaflet entitled ‘Ileostomies and Eating Habits’ which you can request from National Office via e-mail, or telephone IA free on 0800 0184 724.

What is St. Mark’s rehydration solution?

This is an electrolyte mix formulated by St. Mark’s Hospital, London. A copy of the recipe may be downloaded here.

Can you give me any exercise tips?

A IA publishes a leaflet entitled ‘Exercises for Ostomates’, which you can request from National Office. Either e-mail, or telephone IA free on 0800 0184 724.

Where can I obtain a Travel Certificate?

You can obtain a Travel Certificate from National Office. Either e-mail, or telephone IA free on 0800 0184 724.

The certificate is printed in English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic and Chinese.

How can I obtain a ‘Cant Wait Card’, to avoid having to wait in a queue for a toilet?

These may be obtained from the ConvaTec help line. Call them on freephone 0800 282254.

Is there a guide I can use to find a specialist doctor for my bowel disease?

Yes, patients with bowel disease are able to access an A-to-Z guide to help them find a specialist doctor.

Bowel disease covers a wide range of conditions from cancer and irritable bowel syndrome to incontinence.

The guide, on the Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland’s website, allows patients to search for doctors expert in their condition.

It gives details of the medics’ performance and where they work from.

You can view the guide online at