2013 Continence Care Survey Results
17 June, 2013
Incontinence can affect men, women and children at any age. Even slight incontinence can have a severe impact on the quality of life for individuals and carers. Without effective treatment and support, incontinence can have multiple costly health and emotional impacts and can impair the ability of sufferers to maintain important aspects of normal everyday life: employment, education, social and sporting activities as well as personal relationships. Many forms of incontinence are curable or can be improved or managed simply and effectively.
An estimated 14 million people in the UK have a bladder control problem and 6.5 million have a bowel control problem.*
The APPG for Continence Care works to “break the taboo by raising awareness of continence issues for adults and children and to promote cost-effective funding for continence services and product provision”.
The survey concludes:
This survey demonstrates a situation where fewer specialists are available to deal with increasing patient numbers, escalating costs and less resource to cope. Bladder and bowel symptoms occur in all age groups; in those with or without disability; in those with other illness or trauma. Symptoms affect both genders.
There is no doubt that poor continence care contributes to the development of pressure ulcers, and to hospitalisations which are costly to the NHS. For the patient, loss of dignity is a major cost to bear and the Francis Report highlights the consequences of this.
How many more reports are needed before action is taken? This is the second Continence Care survey in six years and it reinforces the decline in services in both quality and availability. The RCP national audits have shown that adherence to national standards in continence care are inadequate, especially in older people. We have a plethora of data and reports. We now need to move on and identify how continence care can be given in the future, within the constraints of the economy. A new look is needed to encompass all aspects of continence care, including prevention, and modernise this area of health care so it is fit for the future.