Parliamentary Activity

PCF’s Parliamentary Engagement

The PCF meets with Parliamentarians on a regular basis. This gives us the chance to discuss the important continence issues which are close to the heart of thousands of young people across the UK. We were present at the ‘It Happens to Me Too’ Parliamentary event, which highlighted the degree to which issues with continence can effect us all, as well as regular All-Party Parliamentary Groups meetings. Check here for our parliamentary engagement.

The PCF will be at the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Continence Care meeting on Wednesday 18th July at the House of Commons, discussing improving Excellence in Continence Care Guidelines as well as well as the need to have appropriate disposal facilities in men’s washrooms.

Written parliamentary questions following a briefing from the PCF

Thangam Debbonaire (Lab, Bristol West): “what assessment the Department for Health and Social Care has made of the availability of Level 1 paediatric continence services for (a) school nurses, (b) health visitors and (c) GPs to provide preventative early treatment for (i) bladder and (ii) bowel problems in children.” (asked 1st May)

Steve Brine (Health Minister): Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are responsible for commissioning continence services and work with local partners to ensure the appropriate level of services are provided dependent upon local need.

CCGs may choose to commission the health visiting and school nursing service to deliver continence services. Public Health England (PHE) has developed commissioning guidance to support local public health delivery; the guidance also clarifies the commissioning responsibilities for continence services. Further information is available here:

Continence services are not included in the public health grant and PHE has not undertaken a national assessment of continence services. (answered 10 May 2018)

Thangam Debbonaire (Lab, Bristol West): “what steps the Department of Health and Social Care is taking to monitor the implementation of NHS England’s Excellence in Continence Care guidelines.” (asked 1st May)

Steve Brine (Health Minister): NHS England published the Excellence in Continence Care guidance in 2015 in order to help support best practice in continence care, and the Department would expect local commissioners to both draw on the guidance and monitor progress in improving continence care. (answered 10 May 2018)

Thangam Debbonaire (Lab, Bristol West): “what assessment the Department of Health and Social Care has made of the effect of the Paediatric Continence Commissioning Guide published in 2014 and accredited by NICE.” (asked 1st May)

Steve Brine (Health Minister): No national assessment of the effect of the guidance has been made. The paediatric continence commissioning guide sets out a clear set of specifications for commissioners to follow, including for paediatric incontinence services. The Department expects local commissioners to draw on the guide in commissioning services and to keep their incontinence services under review. (answered 10 May 2018)

Thangam Debbonaire (Lab, Bristol West):  “what assessment the Department of Health and Social Care has made of the effect on paediatric continence services of the transfer of public health commissioning responsibilities from NHS England to local authorities in 2015.” (asked 1st May)

Steve Brine (Health Minister): No such assessment has been made. (answered 10 May 2018)

PCF attends Report Launch in Parliament

On February 28th 2018 the PCF attended the Parliamentary launch of the research report ‘It happens to me too‘ – about the impact of continence problems on the social and educational lives of young people. The aim of this report is to highlight the importance of breaking down the barriers faced by children and young people with bladder and bowel difficulties.

Supported by the Company, Coloplast Ltd., the report’s contributors are: the PCF, ERIC: The Children’s Bowel & Bladder Charity, the University of Bristol and Bladder & Bowel UK. All are members of the PCF.

The evening included an address by a young person with a continence difficulty and a parent. It was hosted by Rosie Cooper MP,  Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Continence Care and was well attended by parliamentarians, clinicians and service users – all with a common interest in this often-neglected area of children’s health. The PCF looks forward to continuing to work with these partners.

Coloplast report launch picture

                    Penny Dobson, Chair, Paediatric Continence Forum; Rosie Cooper MP, Chair, Continence Care APPG; Gerald Chan, Head of Public Affairs and Communications, Coloplast; Juliette Randall, Chief Executive, ERIC

A Parliamentary Drop-in Session

In November 2017 PCF clinical members hosted a parliamentary drop-in session for MPs to discuss the results of the PCF’s 2017 clinic survey for their constituencies. According to the results, they were invited to write to the Chair of their CCGs as a means to improve service provision.  MPs who attended included  the former Health Minister Norman Lamb, who thanked the PCF for raising this  important area of children’s health within Parliament.

A Parliamentary Adjournment Debate

The PCF’s policy concerns were also discussed during a debate on incontinence on 5th September 2017, in the House of Commons, moved by the MP Madeleine Moon. As an adjournment debate – this was held at the end of a day in Parliament and allowed backbench MPs to raise issues and receive a response from a government minister. The debate discussed continence issues among people of all ages, and called for the Government to improve care to change the quality of life for the many people concerned in the UK.

While the PCF did not call this debate, we were pleased that 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. The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health, Steve Brine, also discussed the PCF’s concerns about the recent removal of the Continence Needs Assessment tool from an online resource provided by Public Health England. Steve Brine promised to discuss this matter with officials at Public Health England.

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