Scotland has launched its vision for continence services. Our Vision For You: Patient Centred Continence Care,
ACA Scotland, 2008.
ASSOCIATION FOR CONTINENCE ADVICE – SCOTLAND - REPORT June 2011
The past year has presented Continence Nurse Advisors in Scotland with many challenges: increasing demand for specialist services with no added resources; potential job losses to meet savings targets; trying to work within budgets where product costs are escalating and trying to raise the profile of continence promotion in an environment where continence issues are often low on the nursing agenda.
This air of gloom and doom causes me, and I’m sure many of us, to feel disempowered in service development mainly due to the current financial pressures that will continue for the foreseeable future. We also need to justify our specialist knowledge and skills as part of the Modernising Community Agenda and look at alternative and creative ways in which continence is regarded in equal partnership with other nursing issues. These ideas need to be shared through this forum in order to support each other.
The use of universal policies, procedures and guidelines will help us deliver best practice in a consistent way across Scotland. Using similar documentation will help us depersonalise and address complaints when they come in. They will be an extremely important tool in dealing with statutory or voluntary agencies who question our services on behalf of their client groups.
During the past year we have helped some of this work along the way.
- The expert knowledge of our members was collated to develop a patient self help guide to manage “cystitis-like” symptoms in people who perform ISC. This guideline has been disseminated to members and electronic copies are available on request from Jan or myself. It will also be included in our Internet blog site.
- Participation in the National Procurement CAP group to examine contract for absorbent pads due for completion this summer.
- Our expertise has also been asked for in the review of the Best Practice Statement for Catheterisation and Catheter care and also in the development of e-learning on catheterisation by NHS NES.
- Following communication to the Scottish Government regarding our PP project, our members were invited to participate in Professor Smith from the Modernisation of Nursing work where we were asked to contribute in 3 working groups: Early years and parenting; Keeping people at home; and Keeping people health at work and play. Hopefully we now have members on these groups to raise the profile of continence.
As our PP work is now 3 years old, perhaps it is time to review its content, especially in the light of current service pressures, to see if it is still fit for purpose and to submit again for wider recognition.
Unfortunately our 2010 Study Day scheduled for Aberdeen was cancelled due to lack of support. This is a sign of the times when all study leave is being scrutinised. However, the programme is still there and can be resurrected when the time is right. On behalf of the members, I would like to offer our thanks to the education committee for their continuing hard work.
Over the past year we had 3 meetings held in Perth, Denny and today’s AGM. Unfortunately our December meeting scheduled for Glasgow had to be cancelled due to the prolonged, severe weather conditions across Scotland.
Our strategy for 2010/11 will be looking at the development of national guidelines to support best practice in all aspects of continence care.
The challenges that now face ACA members is becoming more acute and we now need to work harder and more cohesively to ensure a consistent approach in our care. Raising the profile of continence is paramount with more emphasis on continence promotion and less on containment.
How this can be achieved will depend on local pressures and initiatives and we need to share our solutions, successes and lessons learned with others. I would like to thank everyone for their support over the year; both nurses and company representatives. Our working relationships and dependence on each other is very important to provide our service users with the best knowledge, skills and products.
Catherine Peacock, Continence Nurse Manager
Townhead Clinic, Lomond Rd, Coatbridge. ML5 2JN
Jan McCallum, Continence Advisor
Strathbrock Partnership Centre, 189a West Main Street, Broxburn, West Lothian. EH52 5LH