Confidence with Continence
Caroline Davies, Sarah Tomlinson, Claire Hurlin and Keryl Raynel
Hywel Dda University Health Board
This Bevan Exemplar project introduced a peer-led education programme for people living with low-level continence problems.
The Continence Service identified long delays for routine referrals to a Specialist Continence Advisor.
The waiting time was up to two years, leading to the problem becoming more severe and having more of an impact on a person’s health and wellbeing, potentially for the rest of their life.
- To develop a programme in partnership with patients, NHS educators and Continence Nurse Specialists (CNS) to support early intervention and prevent long-term complications and unplanned admissions.
- To be able to deliver the programme in safe, comfortable environments in the community and to be more about health and wellbeing rather than a clinical appointment.
- To be a peer-led patient education programme available for anyone living with low level continence issues, offering practical ways to manage continence issues on a day-to-day basis.
- The team established a task and finish group, gathered relevant information and evidence and developed a manual for tutors to deliver from, along with documentation for those attending the course, including invitation letters and resource packs.
- Staff and tutors were trained to deliver the programme, and piloted the session in partnership with the Continence CNS.
- The programme has proven to be cost effective as group sessions can see 20 people in 2.5 hours, and not just people with continence problems.
- Staff from nursing and care homes can attend and take their learning back to their place of work.
- The programme demonstrated a reduction in Referral to Treatment Time. Running the programme frees up CNS time to see those with the greatest need.
- The programme has the potential to be delivered in a variety of ways:
- In areas with Education Programmes for Patients in the local community for people living with continence issues, e.g. small group sessions in community halls.
- Added to the end of other programmes delivered locally such as the Pain Management Programme in the community.
- Targeted at Residential Nursing Homes/Supported Living/Day Service Centres or alternatives where a large group of people would be likely to be living with continence issues.
- As an integral part of the Continence care pathway in Health Boards, by identifying all routine referrals and offering the education in partnership with a continence clinical nurse specialist. Before offering a high end clinical appointment and/or prescribe a medication without basic behaviours being addressed to establish the true level of continence issues in the patient.
- Work in partnership with a GP cluster to deliver a programme as a joint venture.
Did you know?
Over 10 million people in the UK experience incontinence.
Part of cohort Bevan Exemplar Projects 2018-19