The Ileostomy & Internal Pouch Association (IA)

Patients need never fear being alone after stoma surgery.

A national charity, IA reaches local communities through its local groups, known as member organisations, and affiliate groups - 45 in total. Run by ostomates for ostomates, each group runs events for their own area, with guest speakers, information days and get-togethers.

IA is a registered charity supporting people living with a stoma, their families, friends and carers.

Formed in 1956 by a group of people who had ileostomies, together with members of the medical profession, it was the first ostomy association in the UK, and continues to be the leading voice for ostomates, with representation on numerous professional boards and advising on ostomy care. These include such organisations as IBD UK, British Healthcare Trades Association and several Patient Industry Forums, as well as European ostomy organisations.

We are acutely aware of how the thought of living with an ileostomy or internal pouch can be daunting. But with support, and hearing the positive stories of others who have been through the same situation, IA is demonstrating that it is possible to live a full and active life after surgery.

The charity is reliant on membership, fund-raising and legacies to continue its charitable endeavours. In particular, the charity supports and invests in numerous research projects to improve the lives of those with an ileostomy or internal pouch – from exercise to hernia prevention and repair.  The charity is a huge advocate of investment in research and welcomes applications from all sectors.

IA Support and Information

The IA Board includes experienced patients, Colorectal Surgeons and Stoma Care Nurses, who have direct frontline experience of working with patients. Often it is the little tips and advice that the SCNs provide that can make so much difference to someone’s life.

The charity provides a wealth of literature, covering such topics as learning to live with your Ileostomy or Internal Pouch, travel, hydration, nutrition and exercise. There is even a colouring book for children to understand their stoma (or that of their relative).

Every member of IA receives the quarterly IA Journal, 60 pages packed full of interesting information and stories, tips and advice. The journal is also available in a spoken format for our visually impaired members.

Often those who have had surgery will want to speak to someone privately rather than use the online resources provided by the charity’s website To this end, IA provides a Visiting Service, matching a qualified visitor, who has been through IA’s training programme, to the patient, providing support when it’s needed most.

More information