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Nurs Times. 2004 May 18;100(20):52-5, 57-8.

Commissioning continence services--turning policy into action.

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  • 1Royal College of Nursing, London.


Incontinence of urine and faeces is a major issue in health care today. The financial cost is enormous with the NHS purchasing an annual 80 m Pounds worth of absorbent products alone (Euromonitor, 1999). But the financial cost is only part of the equation. Incontinence also has a considerable impact on the quality of life of those who experience it. The nature and impact on quality of life varies among individuals. However, where expert services are available cure rates can exceed 50 per cent (Royal College of Physicians, 1995). This suggests that specialist continence services have a vital role to play in helping patients improve their incontinence or manage their continence problems more effectively.

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