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The Paediatric Continence Forum (PCF) is a campaigning group of health professionals, patient representatives and commercial members that engages with the Government and policymakers nationally to raise awareness of childhood bladder and bowel problems and to improve NHS services in this area of child health.

The PCF is on Twitter! Follow @PaedContForum for our thoughts and insights into policies affecting paediatric continence services.


ERIC and Bladder & Bowel UK publish guidance for school leaders, proprietors, governors, staff and practitioners

Read the guidance: Managing Bladder and Bowel Issues in Nurseries, Schools and Colleges

Two members of the Paediatric Continence Forum, ERIC and Bladder & Bowel UK have published new guidance for school leaders, proprietors, governors, staff and practitioners. The document provides best practice regarding bladder and bowel issues and toileting in schools.

The guidance is supported by a short film and provides clear, concise guidance for school leaders, proprietors, governors, staff and practitioners. Topics covered include:

  • How to promote good bladder and bowel health in schools
  • Hygiene standards / provision of school toilets
  • Managing incontinence in schools
  • National legislation for the four countries of the UK
  • Safeguarding
  • Continence policy and care plans (sample policy and plan are provided)

Read the guidance: Managing Bladder and Bowel Issues in Nurseries, Schools and Colleges

Integrated paediatric continence services Guide to significantly improve children’s lives and save NHS costs

Read the Children’s Continence Commissioning Guide 2019.

The Paediatric Continence Forum has launched  its new Guide (September 2019) on how to commission and run integrated, nurse-led, community-based paediatric continence services. These are clinically effective, improve the lives of children and their families and generate significant cost savings for the NHS.

Bladder and bowel (continence) problems affect more than 900,000 children and young people in the UK, with a significantly negative impact on their health, wellbeing, education and emotional and psychological development. However services in this area of child health remain fragmented and inadequate, with too many children attending A&E/ admitted for acute constipation and urinary tract infections, or are referred inappropriately to already overstretched paediatric outpatient departments. This unhappy situation could be sorted out much earlier and more effectively in the community.

A central premise of the Guide is that all children from birth to 19 with continence difficulties should have access to an integrated Community Children’s Continence Service (CCCS).

This research-based Guide gives a clear description of what a “good” service looks like and how it should be run. It includes; an appropriately resourced multidisciplinary team led by a children’s continence nurse specialist and clear and effective care pathways to other key services. Also included are good referral pathways to and from universal school nurse and health visitor services at Level/Tier 1- services which provide an important role in the early identification of problems with toilet training and the onset of continence difficulties.

Read the Children’s Continence Commissioning Guide 2019.

Dr Penny Dobson MBE Chair of the Paediatric Continence Forum, said:

“The PCF is concerned about the increasing pressure on paediatric continence services across the UK. Our 2017 FOI survey found that only 41% of CCGs and Health Boards commission all four continence services ( bedwetting, daytime wetting, constipation/soiling and toilet training).Services in many areas are therefore  fragmented and inadequate.

This clear and informative Guide is an opportunity for commissioners to create positive and effective clinical services for this all too often neglected group of children, as well as make savings for the NHS. By doing so commissioners will also fulfil the terms of the NHS Long Term Plan, by; reducing A&E attendances; creating an integrated and collaborative structure for service delivery and, most importantly, responding to the needs and wishes of all children, including those with learning and physical disabilities”  

Read the Children’s Continence Commissioning Guide 2019.

Excellence in Transition of Care Paediatric Continence Awards launched

PCF TA logo


The first ever Paediatric Continence Forum Awards have been launched this August to recognise excellence in transition of care from children to adult continence (bladder and bowel care) in the UK.

The Awards, the first of their kind, are a collaborative exercise between the Paediatric Continence Forum (PCF) and the company Essity, and will recognise  healthcare providers at local level who provide high quality transition care for children with continence issues transitioning from child to adult care.

The Forum will be accepting submissions from now until the 22nd November. Winners will be announced in January 2020.

It is well documented that too many young people moving into adult NHS services experience a poor standard of transition, without proper care pathways to ensure that the quality of their care is upheld. These Awards aim to redress this situation through recognising best practice in this area of child health – such as good integrated working across child and adult services and providing appropriate support for the young person in a way that enhances their independence.

Applications are open to those working with children, adults, or from a combination of adult and paediatric services.  Applicants will be expected to demonstrate excellence in the application of the NICE Quality Standards QS 140 “Transition from children from children’s to adults’ services” and NICE guidance NG43 “Transition from children’s to adults’ services for young people using health or social care services”. Entries will be judged by a multidisciplinary team of clinicians with extensive experience in paediatric continence care and transition. The winners will be announced in January 2020 and will be given an award certificate, as well as a digital badge which can be used to promote their win in electronic communications and on social media.

The panel of judges includes:

  1. Susan Affleck, Head of Nursing, Children’s Services, and Clinical Nurse Specialist in Paediatric Urology, St George’s Hospital
  2. Juliette Rayner, Chief Executive, ERIC, The Children’s Bowel and Bladder Charity
  3. Davina Richardson, Children’s Specialist Nurse, Bladder & Bowel UK
  4. Nicholas Madden, past President British Association of Paediatric Urologists

You can apply for this award by filling in the application form (which can be found here) and sending it to

Dr Penny Dobson MBE Chair of the Paediatric Continence Forum, said:

“About 900,000 children and young people in the UK experience continence problems. These can be bedwetting, daytime wetting or constipation/soiling, or a combination of all three.They occur at a formative time for children and can affect their health, wellbeing and emotional development. Most are treatable, but community-based NHS treatment services vary hugely across the country. This situation causes a common “disconnect” as young people transition from child to adult NHS services. We are excited to be part of this new award scheme which will encourage and support good practice in this often neglected area of child health.”


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