HC Deb 18 November 1997 vol 301 cc172-3W
Mr. Burstow

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment his Department has made of the Royal College of Nursing briefing paper on "The Cost of Continence"; and if a representative of his Department will meet representatives of the Royal College of Nursing to discuss the report; [15927]

(2) what plans his Department has to improve the care for people with incontinence who are still living in their own homes. [15928]

Mr. Boateng

The Royal College of Nursing briefing paper "The Cost of Continence" provides a useful summary of the problems experienced by people who are incontinent and the social, psychological and financial costs of this distressing condition. I have already had a brief discussion about the report with Christine Hancock, the General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, and officials of the Department of Health would be happy to meet RCN officials for further discussion.

The £269 million additional funding for the National Health Service in England, which we have recently announced, is aimed partly at helped hospitals cope with medical emergencies, reducing delays in discharging patients and reducing the need for people to be admitted to hospital in the first place, for example by providing more specialist nursing and community services, such as continence services, for people—particularly older people—in their own homes. We are considering what further action it may be possible to take in this area.