Addressing bladder and bowel challenges in neurological care: World Continence Week 2024

20 Jun 2024

World Continence Week 2024 is here, bringing a vital opportunity to raise awareness about bladder and bowel issues, chronic pelvic pain, and other debilitating conditions. These challenges significantly impact the lives of patients, their families and carers, including those dealing with neurological conditions such as MS, Parkinson's, dementia, stroke, and brain or spinal cord injuries.

The awareness campaign is run by the World Federation For Incontinence and Pelvic Problems (WFIPP) and this year’s theme will focus on shared decision making, incontinence and mental health, and Commitment to Collaboration in Continence Care (the 4 C’s Project).

“Bladder and bowel problems have a significant impact on many people ruling their lives on a daily basis causing embarrassment, distress and both personal and financial consequences. It’s particularly important in #WCW to focus on groups most at risk, such as those with neurological problems because continence issues can affect them in many ways.

For example nearly all individuals with multiple sclerosis will have bladder problems after living with the condition for 10 years. Bladder consensus in MS 2022'.

Bladder and bowel problems are the top two indicators of sudden deterioration in Parkinson’s (Managing bowel and bladder problems in Parkinson's | Neurology Academy) and at a practical level many individuals with spinal cord injury live in fear of being unable to get manual evacuation of their bowel should their normal routines be affected by hospital admission.

Talking about bladder and bowel problems has always been a taboo subject (Starting conversations with patients/carers about their bladder and bowel health) but hopefully the theme for WCW this years ‘Commitment to Collaboration in Continence Care’ will raise awareness of the fact that everyone needs to be bladder and bowel aware and participate in educational activities to ensure that they can assess, manage and support those who need help”

Sue Thomas, patient and public voice partner neurology CRG and independent healthcare consultant

Collaboration is key to survival within NHS services as we re-emerge from the recent crisis, the pressure on services is increasing and clinicians are being required to find more efficient, smarter, cost-efficient ways to manage their services whilst improving patient care and experience. Working across disciplines and specialties, across primary and secondary care and linking with the third sector to reduce duplication and support each other is essential. One way in which we do this is via our highly valued Endorsers for Uro-neurology Academy.

As part of our commitment to improving continence care, we are thrilled to invite healthcare professionals to our upcoming webinar, 'Intermittent catheterisation in neurological patients: When do we start this conversation and how best to manage this pathway from suggestion to treatment?' Scheduled for Thursday, 11th July at 12:00, this webinar will address the challenges in identifying early, providing timely educating and initiating intermittent self-catheterisation for neurological patients. There will be valuable insights and management ‘tips and tricks’ and the opportunity to participate in an interactive question and answer session.

Registration is now open for this webinar, please sign up here.

A previous webinar we offered on this topic last year with Professor Jalesh Panicker, Colette Haslam and Ruth Stross can be accessed here, How do I manage urinary incontinence in a neurological patient?

Our second Uro-neurology MasterClass in December is already fully booked following the success of our Academy launch last year. This MasterClass continues to build on our mission to provide much needed education and support for healthcare professionals dealing with complex bladder and bowel management in neurological patients, including a panel discussion around how the NHS transformation plans will improve bladder and bowel management in neurological patients..

World Continence Week 2024 is a reminder of the importance of our collective efforts to improve continence care and support those affected and living with bladder dysfunction.

Join us in our upcoming events to stay at the forefront of best practices and collaborative care in uro-neurology.