Debbie Hutchinson


Debbie Hutchinson,
me+™ Support Specialist, Ostomy - UK

My name is Debbie and I am the newest member of the me+™ Team in Sunderland. I moved to the North East just over a year ago, not knowing any one or having a job. I started at ConvaTec last September and I now feel part of a big happy family. Which is super important to me!

I consider myself a morning person. I like to get in to work a few minutes early so I can start to organise my day. I love being on the me+™ Team. Every day is different and I find it personally very rewarding thinking you have helped people often at crisis point.

As soon as I’ve logged on to my phone it usually starts ringing. I find the early morning calls are nurses calling in to register new patients which I love. I have huge respect for the nursing profession and particularly stoma care nurses. I think when a patient has a SCN who supports them and registers them for me+™ they are going to have a more positive recovery journey. I feel proud to introduce new patients to our recovery program. Knowing I can give them such great practical help from a phone call is awesome.

The other early calls are often from people who are worried or anxious about something. They could have been awake worrying about some aspect of their ostomy journey. Sometimes all they want me to do is listen so they can get something straight in their head. Sometimes they might need practical help. I’m no magician, I don’t have all the answers but I have great team members who are always willing to help and advise me. I like to think each person I speak to puts the phone down feeling better!

In between inbound calls I make my outbound calls. All my clients are on my dashboard in date order. I am constantly looking through my dashboard to organise who needs to be called first and plan how I can best manage my time. By the afternoon I have made all my urgent calls. Anyone I have been struggling to get in touch with I will send a card or email explaining a bit about why I have been trying to contact them and the me+™ program. I will usually organise my time so that I spend the last hour of my day sending emails, cards and taking inbound calls. 

People are so suspicious these days when they receive unknown calls. I don’t blame them, I get my fair share of PPI calls! I don’t leave too much information on voice mails as you never know how much information people have told their families. Emails and cards can be bit more personal. When I first speak to some clients I can hear them thinking PPI but then when I mention stoma care I can feel the change in their attitude.

Some people find it easy to talk about what has happened to them, others are very closed. Sometimes this is due to shock. We do have to tread very carefully; this is all about gaining peoples trust. They need to know we are genuine and we can help them. If I speak to someone I feel is finding it difficult to cope with their condition I know I can sensitivly offer the counselling service once they are registered for me+™.  It’s a great tool to have and I know it has helped so many people.

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