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'Some of the information was an eye-opener to the rest of us'

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Continence adviser Joanne Mangnall on the Rotherham Continence Prescription Service’s first birthday and her first service user group meeting.

The memories of those early days are now dimming and we can now laugh about some of the difficulties we had to overcome in the first week of going live! However, I do still have a little deep seated pain and if I am feeling particularly peevish I will remind Stuart, our Head of Medicines Management, that he missed most of the excitement of those fun-filled days as he was on holiday. Next time I am involved in any new service delivery projects I will ensure that all key team members are actually on duty when said service goes live!

A year on, the service is running smoothly and continues to develop. This week, after a couple of false starts, we have held our first service user group meeting. We were worried that no-one would turn up, but they did and some brought partners or parents with them. We worried that if people did turn up they might be too embarrassed to speak, but this was not the case. For the duration of the three hour meeting, group members asked questions and shared stories, experiences and ideas about how we can further improve our service. The day after, a posting was made on patientopinion.org.uk about the meeting. I would like to share this with you.

‘Yesterday,we the recipients of the prescrition service, met the voices on the other end of the phone and what a surprise it was. Joanne and Laura were finally seen as people. We were greeted warmly and treat with respect, the meeting itself was relaxed and very informal, all our apprehensions and embarrassment about meeting other users of the service were quickly dispelled. It quickly became apparent that the main issue the all of us had was the lack of understanding and information surounding the subject of various medical aids used by the continence patients. Issues were raised on several subjects, ( Which would be too long to put down on here ). Joanne outlined the service that she and other nurses provided, but she was also surprised at the amount she had learned from us. Anyone who had something to say was allowed to to speak on whatever they felt was appropriate and some of the information was an eye-opener to the rest of us. I would like to say that I was very apprehensive and embarrassed about going to this meeting but those fears were quickly dispelled. I would like to say, as a user of this service, to anyone who has any views at all about the way the service runs or the way you yourself feel about it, we, the rest of us would like to hear from you at the next meeting.

‘P.S food was laid on and you can claim some of your expenses’

It will be interesting to see how the group develops; Laura and I really enjoyed the meeting and have a list of things to do before our next meeting in September

Click here to see the patientopinion.org.uk on Rotherham

Joanne Mangnall is a continence adviser

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