Children’s bladder and bowel service

Promoting healthy bladder and bowels amongst children and young people

Our service aims to promote healthy bladder and bowels amongst children and young people. This will help to ensure every opportunity is taken to support a child to achieve their continence potentials, resulting in greater independence and dignity. We recognise that for some children, this is not always the case.

The service follows on from support given by Level 1 health promotion services such as your GP, Health Visitor or School Nurse. They are able to offer basic support prior to referring to us for Level 2 specialist services, and ongoing care if required.

The service currently accepts referrals for children and young people under a GP within East Sussex; referrals come from GP’s, School Health teams, Health visitors, and Paediatricians.

We also offer support to nurses in special needs schools, who run their own nurse-led clinics for management of continence, whilst also working in close partnership with wider agencies.

Our clinics are held throughout East Sussex. We endeavour to make clinic locations as convenient as possible.

Our service

Bladder and bowel problems can affect boys and girls of any age.

Children and young people can suffer from long or short term problems, which can cause stress and embarrassment.

Once a referral is received into the Children’s Bladder and Bowel service, the referral is triaged to the appropriate clinic.

All initial contacts are delivered by Attend Anywhere video consultation – so it is essential that all contact details are kept up-to-date. After the video contact, advice and treatments maybe given and a suitable plan put in place. This may include programmes being put in place with strategies around toilet training, or it may involve medications, which are recommended to promote healthy bladders and bowels.

Do I meet the criteria for a referral?

Day time wetting with or without urgency or frequency, must be more than three episodes per week for three consecutive months from the age of 5 years old.

For night time wetting (also known as nocturnal enuresis), please see your School health team. It is deemed normal to wet the bed up to three times per week until the age of 7.  This is because the chemical that helps switch off the kidneys at night, develops at different ages.

Bowel dysfunction – Constipation (which can also result in soiling or leaking stools)

Children with daytime and night time wetting, and children and young people with bowel dysfunctions, should be seen initially by their GP, and have support from their health visitor or school nurse. This should include an assessment and advice before you are referred into the Bladder and Bowel service. Sometimes it is as simple as increasing the amount of fluid your child is drinking, or reviewing their diet and their day-to-day toileting pattern.

Toilet training

For all children who are 4 to 19 years old, and who have difficulty achieving continence after these initial interventions have been attempted for 6 months, and need further support with toilet training, our dedicated team of specialist continence advisors, are able to put further toilet training plans into place. They are also able to give advice on toilet phobias and product assessments for children who meet the criteria.

After initial assessment we will then offer support, education and weekly telephone reviews for a further 5 weeks – providing a 6 week toilet training programme for children with or without disabilities and complex needs. During our telephone review, we shall set weekly goals and provide information relevant to your child’s toileting difficulties.

Product contribution

East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust Children’s (Paediatric) Bladder and Bowel service aims to promote healthy bladder and bowels, not only to encourage independence but also dignity.

We assess every patient individually, recognising that every person has different needs. Our aim is to promote continence, and for some children this may not be full continence, however we will do all we can to help them reach their full potential promoting dignity at all times.

Continence products are available for children with a diagnosed disability or medical need affecting their continence, where a continence assessment and toilet training has been completed by the specialist continence advisor, and been unsuccessful at this point of their development.

We may then offer a product contribution to a maximum of three products per 24 hours, based on an individual assessment. Products can only be ordered following a product assessment. If you do not feel the assessment tool has reflected your child’s needs, you will be offered a copy of this along with a full continence assessment by one of the Specialist Nurses.

Products provided are pads, wrap around style products or insert pads which provide extra volume. We are unable provide bed pads/bed sheets.

We do not provide disposable pull ups, and this is based on evidence from Bladder and Bowel UK. However we will contribute towards washable pull up style pants with insert pads.

The bladder and bowel service only support products provided by Hartmann, who are a market leader in continence products. All products are trialled and excellent customer service and support is available to patients, parents and carers.

Hartmann also provide customers with their own accounts, separate to those funded by the Bladder and Bowel service.

How to contact us and opening times

Our opening hours:

Monday to Friday – 9am to 5pm

Kate Campbell – Lead Nurse – 07825 425699

Dawn Morgan – Specialist Continence Advisor – 07920 413746

Amanda Runeckles – Specialist Continence Advisor – 07855 133890

Please note we are all part time staff, the answering machine is checked at least twice a day and someone will get back to you as soon as they can.

In an emergency

For all emergencies please contact your child’s GP, emergency unit or NHS 111.