Frequently Asked Questions & Useful Links
Why are you changing the way I order my prescriptions?
Why can’t my GP just do it?
The Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), who are the organisations responsible for planning most NHS services in the Merseyside region area, have been looking at how people who use stoma products currently receive their prescriptions, and how to enhance the care that they receive. Having all stoma prescriptions provided by a specialised service will mean that patients will be able to access the right clinical support when they need to. It will also mean that prescriptions will be issued by a team of specialist stoma nurses, who will be able to ensure that patients are ordering and using the best products for their particular needs.
Who is providing the MARSS service?
MARSS is a service provided by Bullen Healthcare on behalf of Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Warrington, and Wirral Clinical Commissioning Groups. Bullen Healthcare is a family-owned company who have been based in Liverpool for over 160 years.
How will I access the service?
We will automatically register you onto the new service, so you don’t need to do anything at this stage. Once you are registered with the service, you will receive a welcome call from one of the MARSS personal advisors to introduce you to the service and explain how it works.
How will I order my prescription?
In line with your preferences either one of our personal advisors will contact you by telephone, or you can call us on 0800 915 9046 or email email@example.com, or use the online order form. You will need to let us know how much product you still have. You will need to answer 3 health and product related questions to ensure your products are meeting your needs. If you are experiencing any stoma related problems we will ask a stoma nurse to contact you. You will confirm how you want to have your prescription dispensed and it will be sent to your dispenser of choice (delivery company or community pharmacy) within 48 hours.
What will the personal adviser ask me?
You will be asked to confirm your details, this is to make sure that we are talking to the right person. You will also be asked three health and product-related questions. If your answers raise any issues, the personal advisor may ask if you would like a clinic appointment, a home visit or a MARSS nurse may telephone you.
The three health and product-related questions you will be asked are:
- Since we last spoke have you needed to seek help from a healthcare professional due to stoma/fistula issues?
- Since we last spoke have you suffered from sore skin?
- Have you got any issues with your stoma/fistula appliances currently?
You will also be asked to complete a stock-check, this is to ensure that you have sufficient supply at all times but that you don’t end up with an excess stock of products. You will need to check your stock levels before you request your prescription.
Where will you send my prescriptions?
You can choose the dispensing organisation (DAC / community pharmacy) you would like to dispense your prescription. You will be asked to confirm your preferred dispenser each time you request a prescription. The dispenser of your choice could be a dispensing appliance contractor (delivery service) or a local pharmacy.
Where can I find out about other dispensing appliance contractors (home delivery companies)?
You can find a list of dispensing appliance contractors on the NHS website at: https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/other-services/pharmacies/appliancepharmacies
Are there other ways to order a prescription?
You can place your order via email or you can order online
How do I make a complaint about the service?
If you wish to make a complaint about the MARSS service, or to let us know about something that has gone well, please email us at
firstname.lastname@example.org alternatively please call us on
Freephone 0800 915 9046
How long will my prescription last me?
Your prescription will usually be for one month’s supply of stoma products, unless there is a reason you need more product, such as going on holiday.
What if I need an urgent prescription?
If you are in urgent need of any stoma products then please phone us on 0800 915 9046 and we will arrange for an emergency prescription to be issued
Why do I need to do a stock check?
It is easy to just ask for a repeat prescription, but patients don’t always need the same amount of products every month. By doing a monthly stock check you will only ever order exactly what you need, and any problems that you might be experiencing can be picked up quickly and referred to one of our specialist stoma nurses.
Will there be any delays in getting my products?
The service will send the prescription to your dispenser in the same way your GP does. The prescription will be sent to your dispenser of choice within 48 hours of you requesting it.
Why can’t I get my dispensing appliance contractor/pharmacy to request my prescription as I do now?
The service is not only about issuing a prescription, but also provides support for people who have a stoma. The personal advisors will ask you questions about how you have been managing your stoma products and also complete a stock check with you. Each patient (or their family member or carer) needs to order the prescription themselves so that they can answer these questions, which is why we can’t accept requests from dispensing appliance contractors or community pharmacies.
What can I expect from the MARSS Stoma Nurse Service?
The MARSS Stoma Nurse Service will be available to provide appropriate treatment and give you advice on stoma related issues and products to make sure your prescription and the products you use are meeting your needs. If you need to see a stoma nurse you will be offered an appointment at one of our local clinic locations. Alternatively we can offer an online video consolation service or if appropriate, at your own home. The service will also offer local drop -in clinics for urgent issues and an emergency telephone service will be available for stoma related issues that can’t wait. Please phone us on 0800 915 9046.
Can I still speak to my GP about my condition?
Yes you can. You are can ask for advice from your GP about your stoma and any other associated healthcare needs. However, all prescriptions for stoma related products and appliances will be issued by the MARSS service.
How do I ask for a call from a specialist nurse?
If you have a question or issue relating to your stoma then you can telephone the service between the hours of 9am and 5:30pm Monday to Friday, or 9am to 1pm on Saturday, (excluding Bank Holidays) then you can contact MARSS on Freephone 0800 915 9046 or email email@example.com
Will the nurses make me swap the products that I use?
The MARSS nurse service will only recommend a change in product if there is a clinical reason for a change in product.
Can I still see my stoma nurse at the hospital?
The MARSS nurse service does not replace the care that you might be receiving from the specialist nurses at your local hospital. We will work alongside the specialist teams at the following NHS providers Arrowe Park Hospital, Liverpool University Hospitals (Aintree, Royal Liverpool, Broadgreen), Warrington Hospital, and Whiston Hospital.
Is this just a way to save money?
No, the service is not about cutting costs, but about providing the best care and support to patients who are using stoma products.
Will the service stop me ordering the products I want?
You will always be able to order the products that are appropriate for your clinical needs. Changes to your current prescription will only be made following a review with a stoma nurse.