EDINBURGH’S largest independent hotel is adapting its facilities to accommodate guests who have been affected by cancer.
Ten Hill Place is making alterations to all disabled toilets in its 129-bedroom Old Town building to make its services easier to use for guests who have a stoma.
A stoma is an opening on the stomach that has been made for a section of bowel to be brought through, so that waste can be collected in a pouch or bag that is attached to the skin.
Stomas can be formed during surgery for bowel cancer or for other conditions such as Crohn’s disease.
The hotel, which is managed by Surgeons Quarter – the commercial arm of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) – is adding a shelf and installing a hook behind the door of its toilets to enable visitors with stoma bags to be able to use them comfortably.
These redesigns come as Surgeons Quarter embarks upon a yearlong partnership with Bowel Cancer UK to raise £50,000 in 2019.
Jo Paulson, Scotland Fundraising Manager at Bower Cancer UK, said: “Shockingly, most disabled toilets aren’t actually equipped for people with stomas.
“Going to the toilet can be one of the everyday challenges faced by those affected by bowel cancer and people can often feel stigmatised when they’re using disabled toilets because their stoma isn’t visible.
“We’re thrilled that such an important hotel in the Capital is making this key change to its services as we know that it’ll have such a positive impact on so many people.”
The RCSEd has also agreed to help fund Scotland’s first Research Chair position focused on surgical research.
The appointment will bring long-term benefits to people living with bowel cancer. In Scotland, ten people are diagnosed with bowel cancer every day.
Scott Mitchell, Managing Director of Surgeons Quarter, said: “The adjustments we’ve made to the toilets really are minor – so there’s no excuse not to do it.
“These small changes probably won’t even be noticed by most visitors – but they will make a huge difference to those with stomas.
“We do all we can to look after all our guests and give them the best environment to relax in, and with this change we hope that we can improve the stays of a great number of people and inspire other organisations to do the same.”
Surgeons Quarter has created a calendar full of fundraising events, which includes skydives, a 24-hour spinathon and bowel-friendly bake sales.
Customers at Surgeons Quarter’s Café 1505 and its restaurant can donate by rounding up their bills, and visitors at Ten Hill Place will be asked if they’d like to make a donation.