Children’s Continence Pathway

ERIC’s Children’s Continence Pathway aims to inform parents and professionals about the assessment and intervention a child or teenager with bowel or bladder problem needs. This is done by using a series of flowcharts – starting with the Children’s General Continence Flowchart.

If you care for a child or teenager with a bowel or bladder problem, working out what help is or should be available, and who will deliver it, is a challenge. This pathway can help you figure out the care that is available.

Resources to improve paediatric continence services

Continence services across the UK vary greatly from region to region. Care is often fragmented with different people providing services for bladders and bowels, for day and night time problems, for children with additional needs and those without. A number of resources are available, including the Pathway, to help improve paediatric continence services - see our resources page for a full list.

ERIC’s Children’s Continence Pathway

ERIC’s Pathway provides a range of resources to meet the requirements of assessing children with bowel and bladder problems and providing the correct treatment programme. The resources include a comprehensive Continence Assessment Form, guidance for its use which can be used as a teaching aid, and flowcharts detailing the necessary treatment and management of each condition.

As service provision varies so much across regions, the Pathway does not state who will provide care, but suggests who might do so. This generic tool can be used as a model, which can be adapted to suit local provision.

National Clinical Constipation Pathway for Primary Care for Children

NHS England has produced guidance to support clinicians in the prevention and management of constipation in children and young people.

This includes a clinical pathway and a series of videos featuring an ERIC Nurse specialist, aimed at health professionals and the families they support.

National Clinical Constipation Pathway for Primary Care for Children. (Opens in new window)

Paediatric Continence Commissioning Guide

The Paediatric Continence Forum (PCF) has developed a tool to support the commissioning of integrated, community-based, paediatric continence services, called the Paediatric Continence Commissioning Guide.

The PCF is an independent national campaign group which strongly advocates the need for a single continence service.

Excellence in Continence Care Guidance

NHS England have produced a useful resource called 'Excellence in continence care: Practical guidance for commissioners, and leaders in health and social care'.

One of the recommended steps to implement the guidance is to "develop continence care pathways that meet local need". ERIC's Children's Continence Pathway can help commissioners develop these pathways.

It is essential that all children and young people with a bladder or bowel problem have a comprehensive assessment by appropriately trained staff with the correct treatment and management programme put in place. (NHS England, Excellence in continence care)

Origins of the Pathway

Nursing Times Awards 2016 WinnerERIC's Children's Continence Pathway was created as part of the award-winning ERIC Nurse Project which began in May 2013 and was funded for three years by the Department of Health.

The project was hosted by the Children's Community Health Partnership (CCHP) covering Bristol and South Gloucestershire. Read the ERIC Nurse Project Evaluation Report (PDF).

The initial work on the flowcharts was carried out by a multi-disciplinary group of representatives from the CCHP.

Help and feedback

If you need any help implementing the pathway, or have any feedback on it, please contact us.

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