Continence care advice and support

The guidance within the continence care section of this formulary is directed towards adult care. Advice on continence issues should be directed to the continence specialist nurse.

Bladder and bowel dysfunction are embarrassing and debilitating problems which can affect up to one third of the population. At best, it might cause minor irritation but often causes social isolation, shame and depression.

70% of bladder problems have been found to be curable or significantly improved, with relevant guidance, and it should be remembered that incontinence, frequency, urgency, constipation, etc. are symptoms of underlying conditions which need to be diagnosed and treated appropriately, following adequate assessment using care pathways and relevant assessment tools.

Where treatment plans fail to elicit a cure, some form of management may be required. This should always be based on individual needs and ability, but consideration should be given to ensuring that options chosen are appropriate, as non-inevasive as possible, evidence-based and cost effective. Catheterisation (both indwelling and intermittent) should always be a last resort with the option of intermittent catheterisation considered before an indwelling catheter (NICE CG171 September 2013).

The following should be taken into account when selecting a product. The product should be:

  • Easily available
  • Comfortable
  • Suited to the patient and carer's needs
  • Safe
  • Evidence based
  • Cost-effective

Contact Details

Clinical staff can call on the Bladder and Bowel Care Services to give support, help or advice in the care of any particular patient or to assist in decision making regarding urinalysis.

Franklin House: 01392 208478

South Molton: 01769 575182

Community Hospital - Newton Abbot: 01626 324685


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