Tracey Chipps, sister at Wolfson Neurorehabilitation Centre, runs an inpatient incontinence clinic every Monday. The clinic is the first of its kind for St George’s Healthcare and has seen positive results since it began nine months ago.
Tracey said, “Patients either come to me directly or are referred by their nurse, therapist or doctor. We do a full assessment and have a discussion about their problem. We then work out a management plan for them during their stay at the Wolfson – which can be up to three months.
“Incontinence is a common problem for neurology patients and they are often embarrassed to mention it. So it is important that it is handled in a sensitive manner.”
After she has assessed her patients, Tracey links in the doctors to ensure that all parties are aware of the management plan for each patient. This plan is integrated into their care and so becomes a part of their routine, which is a real benefit for inpatients.
The clinic aims at teaching and assisting patients with intermittent self-catheterisation, bladder re-training and bowel re-training.
“What we do at the clinic is fairly simple nursing, it’s just about having the structures in place to hold such a clinic,” says Tracey.
It’s also about collaborative working. Tracey has held training and awareness sessions at the Wolfson so that all staff – nurses, therapists and doctors – are aware of the problem and know to contact her if their patients are suffering from incontinence.
An area that Tracey is keen to develop is the ongoing support for patients when they are discharged from the Wolfson. “I’d like to look into bringing people back for a follow-up, particularly with intermittent self-catheterisation. I am working with management to see how we can develop this area.”
For further information about this clinic, firstname.lastname@example.org.