16/11/16 - Investigation into closure of Children's Continence Report published
Healthwatch Greenwich investigated the closure of Greenwich Children’s Continence Clinic and published a report with recommendations, following concerns raised by parents and friends of users of the clinic.
Greenwich Children’s Continence Clinic, is a specialist nurse-led provision delivering medical and emotional support, and guidance to children and families around bladder and bowel continence issues – this includes children with learning difficulties, physical disabilities, late toilet trained children and children with continence issues for a range of other reasons.
The clinic was closed by the service provider (Oxleas NHS Trust) on the 31st August 2016, following a change to the service commissioned by the Royal Borough of Greenwich Public Health team. Service users were then referred to their local GP, many of whom do not have the specialist training required to identify and manage many of the problems associated with children’s continence.
At the time of closure, there were over 300 children and young people on active care pathways with the clinic. Unfortunately, they were not consulted with or informed of the closure in advance.
Healthwatch Greenwich put out a call for information, inviting patients, friends and families to share their experiences of using the clinic and the impact of the closure. Healthwatch Greenwich also sought the advice of medical professionals involved in children’s continence, including ERIC UK a national children’s bowel and bladder charity and Dr Anne Wright, a consultant paeditrician at Evelina Children’s Hospital.
Dr Wright states:
“[The closure means] the loss of a competent, well-run, valuable community continence service that may result in considerable delay and barriers to children and young people accessing the specialist care they need in Greenwich, with attendant consequences for them and their families.”
Lola Kehinde, Lead Continence Nurse Specialist and Healthwatch Greenwich Board Member states:
“This a crucial service for children and for their development into adulthood. Lack of this service will increase issues of bullying for children at school, it will affect their social skills.”
In the report, Healthwatch Greenwich identified five key recommendations for Greenwich Clinical Commissioning Group and the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Healthwatch will follow up these in the next few months.
The report is available to download by clicking the 'Download Transcript' button below or clicking this link.
Please contact us if you have anything to share. Your information will be kept completely confidential. Email Rikki on email@example.com.
You can remain anonymous if you prefer, by clicking here and completing a quick survey.