All who know Pat Black and who have read Holistic Stoma Care will be delighted to know that its success has encouraged her to undertake another book. Her expertise in stoma and wound care has enabled her to tackle another major pathology - that of diverticular disease.

Having qualified at the Hammersmith Hospital in the late 1960s, Pat Black served her apprenticeship as a staff nurse in teaching and district general hospitals in north-west London. Even as a young nurse her literary ability was recognized, with her publications of case reports and teaching articles.

In the early 1980s I was appointed to the Hillingdon Hospital, where I worked with my colleague John Sales. Having come from the same stable as John - St Bartholomew's and St Mark's - we were able to set up a Gastrointestinal Surgical Unit. We were fortunate to appoint Pat Black as a stoma therapist in 1985, one of the first in a district general hospital. Since then the unit has enlarged and developed, and in 1999 we were fortunate to be able to recruit and appoint Chris Hyde, to support Pat's increasing workload. Chris came to Hillingdon, having followed a varied career in both patient-centred and the commercial side of stoma care.

Over the years our two stoma therapists have also been directly involved with pouch surgery, liver resections and, more recently, rapid access clinics. They have a wealth of experience in the management of diverticular disease. This common condition of the western world can be treated by a simple resection, or can give the colorectal surgeon management problems when resection is complicated, leading to multisystem organ failure. Pat Black and Chris Hyde have been closely involved with the whole spectrum of care, but in particular that relating to the management of wounds and stomas. It is entirely appropriate that they should document their experience on the topic.

Finally, I should like to thank both Pat Black and Chris Hyde for their continued contribution to the working of the Gastrointestinal Surgical Unit at Hillingdon. They have become the focal point for clinic management, audit and the organization of a multidisciplinary team. I wish them success with the book, which I am sure will benefit coloproctologists and nursing staff.

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Managing Diverticular Disease

Managing Diverticular Disease

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