Care England, the largest and most diverse representative body for independent providers of adult social care in England, today proudly celebrates the beginning of World Continence Week 2023 and calls for greater awareness and support for bladder and bowel related issues.
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says: “World Continence Week 2023 represents a timely opportunity for open conversation about continence issues and shed light on a topic that is so often overlooked and stigmatised. We know that a high number of those who live in care settings experience continence related issues. This week is an opportunity to help raise awareness, promote effective management and the support available to help people maintain their independence. Care England is proud to add our voice to the collective effort to reduce stigma and improve the accessibility of information, treatment and support, and calls on all sector partners to do the same. Through our joint work with the University Hospitals of Leicester, promoting the decaffeination initiative in care homes and wider support for sufficient access to incontinence products for care services, Care England is proud to champion the rights of individuals with bladder and bowel incontinence issues to live with dignity and without limitation.”
Running from 19-23rd June this year, World Continence Week is an annual initiative devised and managed by the World Federation of Incontinence and Pelvic Problems (WFIPP). It intends to raise awareness of bladder and bowel issues, chronic pelvis pain and other debilitating conditions which impact greatly on the lives of patients and carers, aiming to help remove stigmas and taboos. The main theme for 2023 is Commitment to Collaboration in Continence Care – the 4 C’s project.
According to Bladder and Bowel UK, an estimated 14 million people in the UK suffer from incontinence issues, with men, women and children all affected. This includes a substantial number of individuals who draw on adult social care services, with, according to the NHS 2018 Excellence in Continence Care report, more than 50% of care home residents having urinary incontinence.
Martin Green continues: “There is often much confusion locally as to how incontinence products are provided, or what funding is available to care homes. ICBs operate different processes which can complicate the application and provision of products, leaving many care homes to procure products for themselves without reimbursement. Under the NHS constitution, people living in care homes are entitled to the same access and support as those living in their own homes. Care homes and commissioners must collaborate with each other to ensure adequate provision and funding of products.”