ROSIE Cooper delivered the keynote speech at the launch of a new report aimed at supporting children and young people with bladder and bowel issues.
The West Lancs MP, who serves as co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Continence Care, endorsed the report, It happens to me too, which found that support for the nearly 900,000 children and young people in the UK with these issues was inadequate and needs to be addressed urgently.
The report highlights the stigma around bladder and bowel issues with almost two thirds of young people embarrassed about seeing a doctor about continence issues resulting in a significant impact on their day-to-day lives.
Ms Cooper said: “It is believed there are more than 21 million people in the UK who suffer with bladder and bowel control problems, 900,000 of whom are children and young people.
“There is often a stigma associated with bladder and bowel problems, which impacts on the ability of children and young people to interact socially and live as independently as possible in their local communities. They face further challenges in gaining access to practical advice that explains what they should expect from their local health and social care services.”
Recommendations in the report include:
l Swift implementation of Excellent in Continence Care (EICC) to deliver a clear framework for delivering high-quality bladder and bowel services including knowledge over patient rights and access to services.
l A community-based service covering day and night time wetting, soiling and constipation problems.
l Local services should seek to identify people with continence issues who may be at risk and offer a comprehensive assessment to look for ‘red flags’ indicating an underlying condition.
l Bladder and bowel services for young people should employ a paediatric continence nurse specialist.
l Local pathways should be implemented, through which healthcare professionals can refer young people on to other services if appropriate.
Rosie Cooper MP commented: “This report will be the first step in helping to improve the lives of the children, young people and their families affected by bladder and bowel problems.
“More must be done to ensure that the support that is needed to allow them to get on with their lives and realise their full potential is available to them, no matter where they live. I look forward to working with the groups involved in the report to take forward its recommendations.”