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Incontinence should be given higher priority

14th September 2010

An audit by the Royal College of Physicians has revealed that many incontinence sufferers in the UK are left in distress by insufficient care standards.

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The audit of NHS services in England, Wales and Northern Ireland revealed that treatment and diagnosis of the condition were "often poor or non-existent".

The college said substandard management and poor training were to blame and said the health service should give incontinence more attention.

One in five adult members of the population have problems with incontinence.

The audit examined the cases of more than 18,000 incontinence patients and found that care standards did not reach those set out by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).

Dr Adrian Wagg, clinical director of the National Audit of Continence Care, said bladder and bowel incontinence caused patients to become depressed and socially isolated, which cost the health service millions.

"Although these are treatable conditions, people of all ages, and vulnerable groups in particular continue to suffer unnecessarily and often in silence with a life sentence of bladder and/or bowel incontinence," he added.

The report revealed that many health workers did not ask patients about incontinence and did not recognise the effects of the condition.

The audit also showed that only half of mental health and care home patients were given treatment plans for urinary  incontinence.

Michelle Mitchell, charity director at Age UK, said: "Incontinence affects more than 1.5 million over-65s...yet despite the seriousness of the condition, this report shows continence is not a priority for health service, leading to patchy and poor quality care."

 

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Comments

Anonymous

Thursday 30th September 2010 @ 2:04

First the difference between incontinence and lack of mobility needs to be recognised and a plan put into place.
Home care for those with either incontinence or lack of mobility is dealt with or bowels that do not confirm to precise routine is simply to leave the patient to soil the bed/chair. The consequences of this seem to be ignored in terms of skin infection of fragile skin of the bedridden and ingestion of faecal matter when irritation occurs and hands cannot be washed.
It should be considered a failure of care and even against human rights for this to be, not only allowed but 'the accepted solution'
If home care is considered good for the chronically sick and advantageous to Health budgets then a way to deal with the problem must be found regardless of cost;there is plenty of waste that can be trimmed and unnecessary services providedcut.
Research of a lateral nature should be carried out such as designing wheel chairs appropriate to the comfort needs of patient but with a commode action for day use.Not rocket science.Faeces can be treated and 'frozen already this could be intergrated into bed pads.If the answer to this is too expeensive then there must be a patrol available via an alarm bell call to bring someone to a house to clean and make fresh and comfortable all in need with in max 30 mins day and night.

I would also suggest that those who' say cannot be done' to enhanced care' have a trial of being 'forced to stay in hostile conitions with no help available and see how they respond to fouling the bed and their person.It should not be tolerated.
Many elderly and/or chronically sick people think frequently of 'finding a way out' and fearing age and ill health in a similar way that lack of money to see a doctor or pay a hospital bill brought the NHS into being.Clinical practise has become too sophisticated and the care needs have suffered.


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