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Breaking the taboo around incontinence

In honour of World Incontinence Week, GAMA Healthcare's Clinical Specialist Georgina Saviolaki shares some highlights from Association of Continence Advice (ACA) 2022.
After a two year absence, the ACA met face-to-face in Bristol on 16 and 17 May, which brought together a mix of experts the healthcare field, including incontinence nurses , urologists and primary care professionals . Over two days there was an abundance of educational sessions, aimed at breaking the taboo in incontinence care, antimicrobial resistance and supporting user self-care, along with educating the user and professional team.
"Everyone should be able to talk freely about incontinence problems"
Polly Weston, President of the ACA, opened the conference by welcoming everyone. Users were also invited to share their own unique experience of incontinence. The key message was that everyone should be able to talk freely about incontinence problems. The role of nurses and other healthcare professionals was highlighted as an invaluable source of support for service to the wearer.
National Bladder and Bowel Health Project
In other sessions constipation and implications of faecal incontinence were discussed. Sue Doheny, Regional Lead Nurse (South West), presented the National Bladder and Bowel Health Project (NBBH), which implements the recommendations of NHS England Excellence in Continence Care (published 2018). The main aims of this project are to get the leadership right to deliver the long term plan and raise the profile of BBH and improve the user experience.
The project focuses on three clinical workflows:
- Users with bladder needs;
- Users with bowel needs;
- Paediatric population, as they are more prone to bladder and bowel problems.
Overall, the project supports early assessment, using the right questions to enable early diagnosis, the right language to educate users and parents , whilst increasing confidence and knowledge of the workforce.
Breaking the taboo around incontinence
The second day was followed by another series of interesting and educational sessions, how to break the taboo in incontinence care, by Tess Wragg, clinical editor of Nursing Times . Tess discussed the taboo around incontinence and its implications for service users and healthcare professionals. Users feel embarrassed and lack knowledge and understanding of their condition, which also acts as a barrier to accessing health services . On the other hand, health professionals do not usually ask questions about bowel and bladder health. It was identified that more education is needed in both healthcare professionals and the general public regarding incontinence care.
How antimicrobial resistance relates to incontinence care
Elizabeth Beech, Regional Antimicrobial Stewardship Lead for South West England, discussed the topic on bridging the gap between antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and incontinence. She presented how AMR relates to incontinence care. She emphasised that AMR and incontinence teams can work together to prevent urinary tract infections, including catheter-associated UTIs. The aim has been to maximise effective treatment of UTI and minimise deterioration to reduce user admissions, healthcare-associated bacteraemia and the risks of antibiotic-resistant infections. The emergence of E. coli resistance to trimethoprim and co-amoxiclav has been mentioned. Therefore, the prescription of antibiotics should be carefully considered by healthcare professionals.
PMH range of incontinence care
At PMH, we support healthcare professionals and carers to prevent infections in their working environment and patients with incontinence problems with Contiplan, an all-in-one wipe that cleans, protects and moisturises in one use.
If you would like to know more about incontinence-related product, please contact us via our website.
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