21/06/2021 | Press releases

New continence service launching at Colchester

Patients experiencing continence issues can now access more information and support following the launch of a new service at Colchester.

Information about the best products and treatment available alongside improved assessments and coordination with community teams has been rolled out to help support patients.

Staff at Colchester Hospital have undergone additional training to benefit patients when they come in for treatment and when they’re referred to the community teams.

Teresa Woollerton, continence specialist nurse, said: “We now have assessments and care packages in place, along with information so patients can be referred properly to the community. Ensuring patients are assessed properly is vital to make sure they get the best treatment possible – whether that’s the right product or more information on how to manage the issue.”

Teresa Woollerton wearing mask showing continence products
Teresa Woollerton, continence specialist nurse

Continence issues are more commonly relate to the bladder but the service also covers the bowel, and can be for a range of reasons, such as physical causes due to issues with the bladder, a cognitive reason, if a patient has a condition such as dementia, or due to neurological problems.

Teresa said patients with continence issues are not all elderly, with some patients she sees are younger female runners who may experience stress incontinence.

She said lifestyle changes can help to improve the condition for many patients.

Teresa added: “Treatment isn’t all about offering someone pads to wear, there are a lot of lifestyle changes that can be done, such as fluid modification, pelvic floor exercises and adjusting the caffeine someone drinks as that can irritate the bladder. Bladder training may also be an option. This can help patients who pass urine frequently to learn to increase the time between visits to the loo.”

The service is being rolled out following a three-month pilot across four wards to help educate staff about how to assess and support patients with continence issues.

Teresa said staff assessments of patients and listening to their concerns, as well as their family’s concerns around issues relating to their health is a key part too.

She added: “Assessment is a big part of the service. Treatment can improve continence, and in some cases can resolve any incontinence issues.

“We need to work with our community teams more to make sure patients have been assessed and treatment is in place when they move on from the hospital to the community setting or their home environment.”

The new service is being launched across Colchester Hospital with a service for Ipswich planned soon.

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