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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.


PCF publishes report on paediatric continence service provision

The PCF is pleased to publish the report of our 2017 Freedom of Information (FOI) survey of all CCGs and Health Boards: An examination of paediatric continence services across the UK. Following previous surveys in 2011 and 2014, the PCF asked all health organisations which of the five paediatric continence services they commission; whether there is a single service; whether the service would be reviewed in the near future; and whether the CCG or Health Board used the PCF’s Paediatric Continence Commissioning Guide.

Analysis of the results of these FOIs found continued disparities in paediatric continence service provision across the UK, as seen in previous years. 41.3% of CCGs and Health Boards provided all four paediatric continence services and product provision, compared to 38% in 2014. Despite historically stronger provision in the devolved nations, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales all experienced deterioration in provision. England was the only nation to demonstrate an improvement to service provision, with 43.2% of CCGs providing services, but even these figures leave significant room for improvement.

The PCF will be using this survey to engage with parliamentarians and policymakers across the UK to campaign for improved provision of paediatric continence services, pushing for three key recommendations:

  • Every child and young person in the UK should have access to an integrated, community-based, well-resourced paediatric continence service.
  • Health services and local authorities should work collaboratively to ensure that these services are available in every community, recognising that it is their responsibility to work together to provide them, despite recognised clinical and financial pressures.
  • Information about the provision of local services should be readily available in health and educational settings – i.e. GP practices and schools. It should also be clear who can refer to these services and how families and young people can contact referrers, e.g. GPs, school nurses and health visitors.

To read the report, please click here.

PCF referenced during adjournment debate on incontinence

The PCF was recently discussed during a debate on incontinence, moved by the MP Madeleine Moon, in the House of Commons on 5th September. The adjournment debate – held at the end of a day in Parliament, allowing backbench MPs to raise an issue and receive a response from a government minister – discussed continence issues among people of all ages, and called for the Government to improve care to change the quality of life for many people in the UK.

The PCF’s research into paediatric continence service provision was referenced by Mrs Moon, and its finding that only 41% of CCGs and Health Boards across the UK currently provide all four main continence services and product provision. The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health, Steve Brine, also discussed the PCF’s concerns regarding the removal of a Continence Needs Assessment tool from an online resource provided by Public Health England, and promised to discuss the matter with officials at Public Health England.

We were pleased that continence problems received such a focus during the debate, and look forward to working with the MPs involved to continue to improve care and end misconceptions around paediatric continence. To read the full transcript of the debate, please click here.