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Creating a truly cohesive service

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VOL: 98, ISSUE: 28, PAGE NO: 47

Ian Pomfret, RGN, ND Cert, PWT, is district continence adviser, Chorley and South Ribble PCT

Review of Continence Services (Department of Health, 2000) emphasised multiprofessional continence care. It stressed the need for integrated continence services involving the various professionals who provide continence care at all levels - having common, evidence-based policies, procedures, guidelines and targets.

Review of Continence Services (Department of Health, 2000) emphasised multiprofessional continence care. It stressed the need for integrated continence services involving the various professionals who provide continence care at all levels - having common, evidence-based policies, procedures, guidelines and targets.

Recent, local professional experience in developing a dedicated, multiprofessional continence service, incorporating nurses and occupational therapy and physiotherapy continence specialists in our trust continence team, has convinced me that the way forward for continence services is in truly integrated continence care. Working with other health and social care professionals in acute and primary care we are striving to coordinate continence services in our primary care and acute services trust.

The Association for Continence Advice has a unique role in promoting multiprofessional continence care, as it is the only association open to all health and social care professionals involved in continence care.

A major development in our local continence service is the incorporation of a specialist occupational therapist in continence care, Julie Vickerman. She is the first clinical specialist continence occupational therapist to be appointed in the UK and is currently working in our local continence service and with PromoCon, a national continence initiative, based at Disabled Living Manchester. She is looking at education for occupational therapists at a national level. Occupational therapists have a wealth of experience and knowledge, particularly with regard to functional incontinence (see page XX. This has been recognised by the ACA, and a specialist interest group for professionals caring for people with functional incontinence has been formed and met at the ACA conference in Glasgow last April.

Julie and I have been co-opted on to the ACA Executive for the next year, and we thank the ACA for giving us a unique opportunity to share our collective experiences in multiprofessional care. We will be working together to promote the concept of all health and social care professionals coming together, sharing experience and knowledge and creating truly coordinated, cohesive continence services.

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