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Children's continence service - an affordable luxury?

Rhonda Reilly, Specialist Nurse, Continence, Western Health and Social Care Trust, Northern Ireland

Rhonda's case study was completed in 2012 and reflects 2012 prices

In Northern Ireland Rhonda Reilly, Specialist Nurse - Continence, Western Health and Social Care Trust, Northern Ireland, has compared the costs and benefits of her one-stop comprehensive continence service for children and young people, with a routine service provided by a paediatric consultant.

It could be argued that the nurse-led service, which operates an open referral system to all children in the Trust area aged 0-18 years, is a luxury. However, Rhonda developed a compelling case study demonstrating the value of the service which works with children and their families, as well as education and voluntary groups, providing continence related education and care plans.

Rhonda found that in order to maintain capacity and effectiveness within the service there is a need to expand its reach. It currently supports 200 patients a year.

Other benefits of the service include the provision of education to health care and education professionals on early intervention for children with continence difficulties, and health promotion activities to promote healthy bowel and bladder; which result in the avoidance of need to refer on to other agencies and provision of continence products. There is also a benefit to the patient of having care provided by an independent nurse prescriber, ensuring seamless care, increasing medication compliance and concordance and reducing the need for General Practitioner consultant to obtain prescription and subsequent GP review while on medication.

You can contact Rhonda at Rhonda.reilly@westerntrust.hscni.net.

Case study
One page summary