The seventh Global Forum on Incontinence has been in the press this week, which is sponsored by many PCF members and will feature on the PCF website in the coming days. The event brought together more than 300 patients, carers, policy-makers, health and social care professionals and NGOs from around the world.

Pioneering new outcome measures could improve standards of incontinence care

The Nursing Times has reported on ‘Measuring Outcomes to Improve the Management of Continence Care,’ the “definitive” set of outcome measures and key performance indicators for toileting and containment strategies that were launched at the GFI this week, and credited Essity for leading the study. It listed the 14 recommended KPIs:
• Proportion of staff with the skills to perform a continence assessment and prescribe a toileting and containment strategy • Proportion of persons with incontinence in receipt of pads with a documented assessment and formulation of a toileting and containment strategy • Mean number of days from referral to assessment for persons with incontinence who require a toileting and containment strategy • Proportion of persons whose toileting and containment strategy is reviewed • Proportion of persons with incontinence who receive education on toileting and containment strategies • Proportion of persons with incontinence deemed eligible for a toileting and containment strategy who are offered a choice of product type following assessment of incontinence
• Proportion of persons with incontinence and incontinence associated dermatitis who receive a toileting and containment strategy • Proportion of persons with incontinence with an indwelling catheter to manage incontinence • Proportion of persons with incontinence managed with a toileting and containment strategy who report “good” or “acceptable” levels of access and support to toilet facilities in their daily life • Persons with incontinence managed with a toileting and containment strategy who report sustained or improved emotional wellbeing • Proportion of persons managing incontinence with a toileting and containment strategy who are either able to remain in work or take up work • Cost of hospital admissions and re-admissions related to poor management with toileting and containment strategies for incontinence
It quoted a number of people from the research panel, such as Professor Adrian Wagg, from the University of Alberta in Canada, who said: “This study has identified the type of outcomes upon which we should focus and has produced tangible KPIs which, if embedded in quality frameworks, will help to advance standards of care.” Mattias Abrahamsson, Vice President for Incontinence Care and Global Hygiene at Essity, said: “We hope the output from this study will make a tangible contribution to the improvement of care provision for people living with incontinence and be adopted by national health and social care systems.”
The Nursing Times has also published a review of the guidance, calling the diagnosis and treatment of continence issues using the continence assessment “a fundamental nursing skill”. In the article, it advocates consideration of the patient’s “complete medical, surgical, neurological, obstetric, mental health and social history” as well as environmental factors, the medications the patient takes, a review of their typical symptoms, quality of life and diet, as well as dipstick urinalysis, post-void residual urine volume, vaginal, rectal, abdominal, neurological examinations.
The article outlines the purpose of the continence assessment has being “to help identify the causes of, and factors contributing to, urinary and faecal symptoms” as well as to determine how long the problem has persisted, the symptoms and presentation of the condition, the effect on quality of life, and how it is currently managed. It also refers to the negative wider implications continence issues can have on a person, spanning their “physical, emotional and financial wellbeing,” including increasing the risk of urinary tract infections, falls and skin damage.
This is very positive press for a PCF member and we will promote it on the PCF website when we have sign-off on the pictures.

Education Select Committee launches inquiry into SEND provisions

The Education Select Committee has launched an inquiry into SEND provisions, particularly those transitioning into further and higher education, and the impact of reforms introduced by the Government in 2014. The Committee says, “The Government claimed these changes would give families greater choice in decisions.”
Education Committee chairperson, Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP, said: “It has been four years since major SEND reforms were introduced and it’s important we examine whether the Government’s stated ambitions for simpler, improved and consistent help for children and young people with SEND have been met. There are rising concerns about the quality and access to SEN provision which the Committee will want to explore in this inquiry. The Committee’s current inquiry into alternative provision has heard considerable evidence that children with special educational needs are disproportionately excluded from school and over-represented in alternative provision. During the course of our quality of apprenticeships and skills training inquiry we’ve also heard that with young people with SEN have faced significant barriers in accessing apprenticeships.”
The deadline for written submissions to the inquiry is 14th June. We will review whether it would be beneficial for the PCF to make a submission.

Labour pledges to increase mandatory healthcare for babies

Labour has pledged to provide £25 million to a mandated visit for every baby in England between three and four months old. The announcement cites “experts” highlighting the particular risks faced by mothers at that time. Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth outlined analysis that demonstrated the extent to which healthcare for children had decreased, namely through the termination of the national Health Visitor Programme in 2015, since which time the number of health visitors has decreased by 20 per cent. The analysis also found that 17 per cent of babies have missed out on their six to eight-week review nationally, and a third of babies in London.
Labour also pledged to “work towards ensuring all maternity services achieve and maintain UNICEF’s UK Baby Friendly Initiative accreditation- as already occurs in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and is recommended by NICE as a minimum standard.”
Complementing the announcement that it would invest in more health visiting for children, Mr Ashworth has penned an article for The Times which he opened with the famous quote by Nelson Mandela: “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” Mr Ashworth highlighted mortality and obesity as some of the problems facing the UK’s children today, and the causes for the UK’s child health outcomes “stalling”.