The national continence charity for children, Education & Resources for Improving Childhood Continence, has appointed its first specialist nurse.
Brenda Cheer, a paediatric specialist continence nurse, has been appointed as the first ever ERIC Nurse.
Ms Cheer will join the charity in May and will have a broad remit, including promoting early intervention and the development of high quality, integrated health services.
She will also lead a pilot project to improve paediatric continence management in the Bristol area, where the post will be based, and will have the opportunity to influence service development and policy at a national level.
Three years’ funding for the role has been provided by the Department of Health.
Ms Cheer was previously a paediatric specialist continence nurse at the University Hospital of Wales.
Ms She said: “Too often children with continence problems are regarded as ‘second class citizens’ and grow up burdened with the guilty secret of their wetting or soiling.
“Health care professionals are often well meaning, but lacking in information they struggle to give appropriate advice. There is so much we can do to change this; I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to contribute to this change,” she added.
ERIC director Jenny Perez said: “We look forward to working with her to champion best practice among commissioners and healthcare professionals, so that children with continence issues get the support they need, as early as possible.”
Existing services to support children with continence problems are often “fragmented, inconsistent and under-funded”, and there is a serious shortage of specialist paediatric nurses working in community settings, according to the charity.
It estimates that 80% of the 15,000 admissions each year for continence problems in under 19s could be avoided if continence issues were treated effectively in primary care.
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