Excellence in Continence Care23rd November 2015
NHS England has today published new guidance to help improve the care and experience of children and adults with continence issues.
Problems with the bladder affect more than 14 million people in the UK and about 6.5 million have bowel problems. In addition, 900,000 children and young people reportedly suffer from bladder and bowel dysfunction.
Continence is sometimes debilitating, often embarrassing and it can be a life-changing problem. There are a myriad of reasons and conditions that can affect how someone goes to the toilet, but quite a bit of variation in what people can expect when they visit a health professional for help.
The new guidance brings together the most up-to-date evidence based resources and research to support commissioners and providers of health services, which have the ability to make real and lasting changes to raise standards of care for continence. It encourages much greater collaboration between health and social care, working in partnership with the third sector, as set out in the NHS Five Year Forward View.
Increased preventative services, good quality, easily available information and advice, as well as integrated health and social care could have a significant impact on the numbers of children and adults suffering with continence issues and the severity of their health and social problems.
Two important areas of work include the need to develop the workforce of health professionals, so they are more informed and educated about continence issues, and robustly measuring people’s health outcomes to make sure services continue to provide the best care possible.