Continence: health improvements through collaborative working

Health improvements through collaborative working

Incontinence is common amongst care home residents. Associated risks include falls, infection and skin damage, in addition to a signicant clinical and nancial impact.

Alice Macleod, Senior Nurse in National Procurement and her colleagues noticed a year-on-year rise in the purchasing on incontinence products, and began investigating areas where improvements could be made.

Upon receiving Health Foundation funding, National Procurement began a partnership with NHS Lanarkshire and local care professionals to devise a ‘Continence Promotion Care Bundle’ and promote improvement capability of care home staff.

Care home residents and staff


The project focused on best practice in health, care, medication review and diet, and was trialled at two care homes in Lanarkshire. Engagement of care home staff ensured universal adoption of the model for improvement, and qualitative and quantitative data was recorded over a year from the initial implementation in September 2016.

A positive impact on patients

Over a year the project showed that low-cost quality improvement interventions can:

  • promote continence in care home residents
  • improve patient safety
  • reduce patient distress and help care home staff to spend more time with residents
  • reduce absorbency pad usage

The pilot care homes also saw a significant reduction in falls, skin damage and hospital admissions for falls and urinary tract infections.

What's next?

The Continence Promotion Care Bundle is now being rolled out across NHS Lanarkshire, and NHS Scotland Chief Executives have recommended roll out across all health boards.

Download our Health improvements through collaboration case study (PDF, 1.6MB)

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