HC Deb 27 February 1996 vol 272 cc443-4W
Sir John Hannam

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research he is currently funding or planning to fund into the problems and treatment of incontinence. [16738]

Mr. Bowis

The Department commissioned the social policy research unit of York university to research and produce a report on "The Role of the Continence Adviser in England and Wales". This was published in January 1994 and distributed to all health authorities, NHS trusts and continence advisers. Copies of the report will be placed in the Library.

The Department has also commissioned three other research projects on incontinence:

  • A feasibility study on costs, quality and effectiveness of continence services—social policy research unit, university of York.
  • The development of methodologies to identify urinary incontinence and set targets for health gain—health and community care research unit, university of Liverpool.
  • Evaluation of health interventions by continence services and primary health care teams on patient outcomes related to incontinence—department of public health and primary care, university of Oxford).

These projects have just been completed and are subject to peer review.

In addition to Department of Health funding, the Medical Research Council, which receives its grant in aid from the office of my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade, has commissioned a large research programme costing about £5.5 million entitled "Incontinence: A population laboratory approach to the epidemiology and evaluation of care". The programme is based on five interlinked projects:

  • Incontinence: prevalence needs and associated factors;
  • Evaluation of services for incontinence;
  • Evaluation of treatments for detrusor instability
  • Evaluation of treatments for genuine stress incontinence;
  • Incontinence: incidence, natural history and aetiological factors.

The NHS centre for reviews and dissemination is currently carrying out a systematic review on interventions to manage enuresis.

Research is being undertaken as part of the NHS research and development programme on:

  • Development of an improved reusable incontinence bedpan;
  • Treatment of urinary incontinence in stroke patients;
  • The effect of oestrogen replacement therapy on urinary tract dysfunction and urogenital collagen structure on postmenopausal women with stress incontinence.

Following completion of each research programme, the Department will consider how best to encourage health care decision makers to act on the findings.

Sir John Hannam

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what support he plans to give voluntary agencies concerned with the problem of incontinence(a) in 1995 and (b) in future years. [16757]

Mr. Bowis

In 1995–96, the Department is providing funding to voluntary organisations concerned with incontinence as follows:

  • The Continence Foundation—£85,000 towards its helpline and administrative costs, as part of grant awards which began in 1993–94.
  • InconTact—£25,000, as part of a three-year grant of £25,000 per year towards the costs of its project to develop a continence public awareness programme.
  • The Enuresis Resource and Information Centre—£47,113, made up of £33,000 as part of a three-year grant towards its administrative costs, £5,000 as part of a two-year grant for its project to pilot training seminars for doctors and nurses on nocturnal enuresis and £9,113 for the translation of ERIC's guide for parents on bedwetting into five ethnic minority languages.

In addition to the above amounts, the Department is providing £50,000 to support National Continence Day/Bedwetting Day which will be held on 19 and 20 March 1996.

Sir John Hannan

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the work of(a) his Department and (b) the NHS in the past year in respect of continence services. [16758]

Mr. Bowis

The Department of Health supports a number of initiatives.

The organisation of continence services locally and the manner in which they are delivered, are matters for district health authorities and hospital and community trusts.