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Transforming Lives: Lee, Natalie & Ste

In our latest series, we’re sharing patients meeting with staff from Salts Healthcare to discuss Confidence Be®. We now share our next story with you.

“We needed to totally understand the patients’ needs; both physically and emotionally.”

For the creation of Confidence BE®, we conducted thorough market research, which involved listening to customers to find out their wants and needs which helped to define the product. We had one goal. To create a bag with a range of clever features to help everyone feel comfortable in their own skin, confident in their abilities and free to live life.

That’s where Lee Howard comes in – Product and Process Design Engineer at Salts Healthcare. He met with patients, Natalie and Ste in the beautiful surroundings of the Botanical Gardens to chat about Confidence BE®. They discussed how Lee felt working on it, the challenges he faced, and what Confidence BE® means to them both.

Natalie kicked off the chat, wanting to hear about the challenges that were faced when making Confidence BE®. As Lee explained, the creation of Confidence BE® threw up many hurdles, such as simply trialling materials. However, as an engineer, Lee’s job is to identify problems or issues and to fix them. Lee also went on to explain how lucky we are to have input from nurses and other clinical staff to help aid us in the creation of products people want and need. But, as Lee explained, it comes down to real patients that are so key in helping us to improve our product offering.

“Patients are key to helping us make better products and that’s been part of our journey with Confidence BE®.”

Natalie and Ste also wanted to hear more about the reasons behind the colour choice. For them, the choice of three colours allows them to coordinate their bag with their clothing. Lee spoke about the important research behind the three colours which allowed us to see which colours people would prefer to see, and what the colours would mean to people – like Nat and Ste, this was to be able to coordinate their bag with their underwear.

Then it was Lee’s turn to ask the questions. Lee wanted to know how Natalie and Ste felt seeing the bags for the first time, and to find out how they’re getting on with the new features of Confidence BE®. Ste spoke about how he first saw Confidence BE® when he was in hospital and he received a message to say he was getting samples. In Ste’s words, when the stoma bags arrived it was a “WOW” moment.

“It is literally what we have been asking for. Perfect material, colour, and the perfect size”.

Nat and Ste then went on to talk about the features of Confidence BE® that they love. From the Flexifit shape, the filter - which means they no longer have night time ballooning, and the outlet now being even easier to clean.

Natalie also spoke about her online life as a blogger openly talking about chronic illness. Nat explained how she does bag reviews and live podcasts, and how rewarding it is to hear that other people are helped through her blog.

“People are much more open about talking…it isn’t such a stigma anymore and people are gaining more confidence in talking about things.”

To see more of Lee, Nat and Ste’s chat, please follow the link:

To celebrate the launch of Confidence BE®, we’re sharing a series of stories like Lee, Natalie’s and Ste’s, where employees from Salts Healthcare met with patients to talk about their involvement in Confidence BE®. We make products, but we never forget our devices are for real people. Read more stories like this here.


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