A health service helping people with bladder and bowel issues is changing its name – to help “remove the stigma” some patients experience.
The previously named continence service at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust will now be known as the specialist pelvic health team.
The service provides care and support through specialist assessment, treatment and management of a range of issues including bladder and bowel, pelvic organ prolapse (when organs in the pelvis move downwards) and pelvic floor dysfunction (when there is too much or not enough tension on the pelvic floor muscles), along with preventative treatment measures.
Kendra Russell, specialist pelvic health lead nurse, has explained one of the reasons for the change of name.
She said: “There is, understandably, a real stigma with many people around the use of the word ‘continence’.
“We know from feedback from patients that some feel embarrassed ringing teams like our single point of access service and asking if they can have an appointment with the continence team.
“We want to remove that negative stigma and embarrassment which is putting some people off from dealing with a health issue they may have.”
Anyone can self-refer to the team for treatment, advice and help with pelvic floor strengthening exercises.
Tracy Maddison, operational matron in specialist nursing services, added: “No person should ever be prevented from being assessed and treated for an issue they are having through any embarrassment.
“The specialist pelvic health team is a highly skilled and experienced service which provides a range of care to patients, in a empathetic and compassionate environment.
“The team is not only able to treat issues but help prevent any health issues in the future.
“Anyone can refer themselves to the service through the Trust’s single point of access service by calling 01429 522500 or through their GP.”