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CCGs let childhood continence services suffer

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The Paediatric Continence Forum has released guidance on the commissioning of community childhood continence services.

The guidance comes after an FOI request by the Forum found that CCGs in England are failing to provide integrated paediatric continence services for children with continence problems. Only 32 per cent of responding CCGs commission all the four main continence services (bedwetting, daytime wetting, toilet training and constipation/soiling), with just over 22 per cent of responding CCGs commissioning services that are fully 'joined up.'

Thirty-nine per cent of CCGs who responded to the FOI said they had plans to commission new paediatric continence services or to review their existing provision. The Forum suggests that this could mean that these CCGs are relying on universal services such as school nurses and health visitors, rather than specialist nurses.

Paediatric Continence Commissioning Guide provides clear advice to commissioners on how to commission integrated, community-based paediatric continence services. The guide has been accredited by NICE.

Dr Penny Dobson, MBE chair of the PCF and one of the guidance authors, said: Too many NHS community treatment services remain unfit for purpose. Much more work needs to be done to improve this situation and the new NICE accredited Paediatric Continence Commissioning Guide provides an important resource to address this deficiency.'

Fiona Smith, the RCN's advisor in children and young people's nursing, said 'Specialist nursing care can make a real difference to a child's life, enabling them to take part in everyday activities such as attending school and playing sports.

Paediatricians value children's continence nurse specialists as key members of the team who help improve management continence issues and reduce the need for repeated hospital appointments and attendance at emergency departments.'

The guide has been endorsed by the RCN, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, and the Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association.

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