The online ostomy community is generally a positive and supportive place to be, but when one ostomate is offended or insulted, it can lead to other ostomates coming out in force to show solidarity; think back to #BagsOutForSeven.
This has been the case this week, after a gentleman with a stoma was declined access to the water rides at Butlin’s in Skegness. He posted in an online support group, understandably angry about it. He was told by multiple staff that it is company policy not to allow those with a stoma on the water rides such as slides and rapids. He said “I was left standing at the front of the queue as people filed past as if I’d done something wrong.”
The stoma community rallied on social media to demand a response from Butlin’s, who repeatedly said that they sincerely apologise for any upset caused and that they do allow guests with colostomy bags to enjoy all of the features in the pool. They also said that they would be reviewing their procedures and that they had reached out to Colostomy UK for advice.
Another Twitter user then added that they had spoken to Butlin’s and had been told they have decided to allow ostomates on the slides etc if a T-shirt is worn. Butlin’s replied to this tweet to reassure ostomates that there is no need to cover up.
We live in an era in which everyone is banging on about equality and diversity, yet many companies fail to practice it. It looks to me like Butlin’s need to invest more time and effort into training ALL of their staff, so that they are clear on procedures and do not put themselves in a position again in the future which appears to discriminate against a disability.
Butlin’s has so far failed to comment on what action has or will be taken against the multiple staff involved in the incident.