Agenda item

Scrutiny Review - Urinary Incontinence

-           Chief Executive to report.


Councillor Dalton, Chairman of the Review Group, introduced the report which set out the findings and recommendations of the scrutiny review of urinary incontinence.


This review was approved by the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board as part of the work programme of the Health Select Commission.  The key focus of Members’ attention was to establish the extent to which preventive measures were promoted in Rotherham to reduce urinary incontinence, given the impact it had on people’s quality of life.


There were three aims of the review, which were to:-


·           Ascertain the prevalence of urinary incontinence in the Borough and the impact it has on people’s independence and quality of life.

·           Establish an overview of current Continence Services and costs, and plans for future service development.

·           Identify any areas for improvement in promoting preventive measures and encouraging people to have healthy lifestyles.


Urinary incontinence affected all age groups and should not be viewed as inevitable as people get older.  Many forms may be treated or cured and it was vital to expand preventative work and continence promotion to try and reduce the numbers of people becoming incontinent.  It was also important to ensure more people were having an assessment of the cause of the problem rather than coping as best they could with off the shelf products or struggling because they are too embarrassed to seek professional help. 


Members recognised the good services provided by the award winning Community Continence Service (CCS) and that the Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group had been unique in reducing expenditure on continence products in the last five years yet delivering improved outcomes for service users.  The Community Continence Service did engage in preventative work and plans for future service development included greater focus on this area.  One workstream would be to consider developing an integrated continence care pathway, with a single point of access. 


General awareness raising with both the public and health and care professionals was needed to emphasise the importance of good bladder and bowel health and how healthy lifestyle choices could help to prevent incontinence.  Pelvic floor muscle training had been proved to relieve symptoms and may reduce the risk of developing stress incontinence.  More people could be encouraged to do these exercises as a preventative measure and there was scope to consider if they could be incorporated more widely within sports and fitness activities. 


The spotlight review made six recommendations which were:-


1          RMBC and partner agencies should ensure all public toilets in the Borough are clean and well equipped to meet the needs of people who have urinary incontinence, including suitable bins for the disposal of equipment and disposable products. 


2          Greater links should be established between the Community Continence Service and Rotherham MBC Sport and Leisure team to support people to participate in appropriate sport and physical activity.


3          Rotherham MBC and other sport and leisure activity providers should consider building more pelvic floor exercises into the Active Always programme and wider leisure classes.


4       There should be greater publicity by partner agencies to raise public and provider awareness of:


(a)     The importance of maintaining good bladder and bowel health and habits at all life stages (through media such as screens in leisure centres and GP surgeries, further website development, VAR ebulletin and a campaign during World Continence Week from 22-28 June 2015).


(b)     Healthy lifestyle choices having a positive impact on general health but also helping to prevent incontinence, such as diet, fluid intake and being active.


(c)     The positive benefits of pelvic floor exercises as a preventive measure for urinary incontinence, including the use of phone apps for support.


(d)     The need to include the impact of incontinence due to medication, such as diuretics, within a patient’s care.


5       More work should take place with care homes to encourage staff to participate in the training offered by theCommunity Continence Service and to increase staff understanding of the impact of mobility, diet and fluid intake on continence.


6       That the Health Select Commission receives a report in 2015 on the outcomes of the project considering future service development of the Community Continence Service.


Resolved:-  (1)  That all those involved in the Scrutiny Review be thanked for their input.


(2)  That the Scrutiny Review – Urinary Incontinence and its recommendations be noted and a response be submitted within two months as outlined within the Council’s Constitution.


(3)  That the decision of Cabinet on the report, recommendations and proposed action be reported back to the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board in due course.

Supporting documents: