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Helping enhance the quality of life for people living with incontinence

Posted on 24 June 2021

We are helping to support people living with bladder and bowel problems by using their experiences to ensure products to manage incontinence meet their needs.

During the process to develop a new supply framework for continence products, users of these products were asked for their views about the types of products they use and the features that are most important to them such as form, fit and flexibility to be considered as importantly as absorbency and size. There was also engagement with parents and carers of children to understand their needs from paediatric products such as nappies.

The clinical team within NHS Supply Chain: Rehabilitation, Disabled Services, Women’s Health and Associated Consumables, provided by Collaborative Procurement Partnership LLP, collated all the responses to help shape the scope and lot structure on the new framework.

Lisa Charlesworth, Clinical Engagement and Implementation Manager, said: “We recognise that people with bladder and bowel problems have a wealth of personal experience and an extensive understanding of how the symptoms impacts on their lives. They and their families have become ‘experts by experience’ and have a wealth of working knowledge of the available products.

“When developing our new continence framework, we wanted to involve them as well as healthcare professionals to really understand how products can best meet their needs clinically, as well as exploring opportunities for innovation.

“We understand that having a bladder and/or bowel problem, can result in embarrassment, anxiety and distress. This can have a major impact on a person’s quality of life and may even result in social isolation.

“An appreciation of the impact that bladder and bowel dysfunction have for individuals has played a vital role in informing and shaping our frameworks and product specifications.”

The new Disposable and Washable Continence Care framework will go live on 2 August 2021 and features 1,148 new products, including the addition of more than 600 new washable and recycled products, as well as introducing new eco-friendly paediatric nappies to the framework.

Fay Allen from NHS Supply Chain’s Clinical and Product Assurance (CaPA) team, said: “For us to assure the upcoming frameworks for NHS Supply Chain, feedback from users of our products, carer groups and advocate groups within the NHS is vital.

“By utilising the knowledge and requirements of people with bowel and bladder problems within the framework development ensures that individuals and families are offered choice in products that meet their clinical needs, ultimately enhancing quality of life.”

For more information visit the Disposable and Washable Continence Care framework.