Skip to main content

Incontinence

Volume 684: debated on Tuesday 25 July 2006

asked Her Majesty’s Government:

Whether they have delivered on their commitment set out in the National Service Framework for Older People (2004) to establish integrated incontinence services by April 2004; and how many primary care trusts currently provide an integrated incontinence service; and [HL7093]

Whether the National Health Service runs an education and awareness programme on treatment for incontinence; and [HL7094]

What is their assessment of the number of people who suffer from incontinence; and whether they anticipate that the number will rise; and [HL7091]

What is their assessment of the number of people who suffer from light to moderate incontinence; and, of these, what proportion (a) seek medical advice, or (b) have curable incontinence; and [HL7092]

How many incontinence nurses are employed by the National Health Service; and what is the annual National Health Service expenditure on incontinence; and [HL7095]

How many people who are not in residential care (a) receive free continence products, and (b) must purchase their own. [HL7096]

Progress on delivering the National Service Framework for Older People (NSF) was reported in March 2006 in Living well in later life, a joint report of the Healthcare Commission, the Commission for Social Care Inspection and the Audit Commission. That report drew on the National Audit of Continence Care for Older People (NACCOP) that the Royal College of Physicians undertook on behalf of the Healthcare Commission, supported by the National Director for Older People. The initial findings were that, of those sites NACCOP surveyed, less than half had a completely integrated service in place. NACCOP has recently repeated the audit and the results will be widely disseminated later this year. We will be working with stakeholders to develop commissioning guidance, including economic analysis on cost and benefits.

In-service training and awareness for National Health Service staff is the responsibility of their employers.

We have no estimate of the number of people currently experiencing problems with continence, and have not made any estimates of the possible future numbers or what proportion seek professional advice.

The Department of Health does not collect information on which NHS staff spend all or some of their working time addressing the needs of people who are experiencing problems with continence, and information on the total cost of continence care in the NHS is not available.

The department does not collect information on the numbers of people who receive continence products from the NHS.