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New report highlights support needed for people affected by bladder and bowel conditions

Posted on 25th May

A new insights and key learnings report, presenting the lived experiences of people affected by bladder and bowel control issues, has been published.

Voices for Change is the result of a partnership project between the West of England AHSN, the Bladder and Bowel Health Integration Team (BABCON HIT) at Bristol Health Partners and Disruptive Thinking.

The report explores many of challenges faced by those living with bladder and bowel conditions, or caring for someone who does, drawing out problem statements that lead to the identification of six key themes: perception, communication, environmental, wider health services, mental health and anxiety, and participation.

Bladder and bowel conditions are very common in the UK, affecting more than one in five people – and yet it is a subject not openly talked about. More common than hay fever, we know that symptoms can significantly affect everyday lives.

The report’s purpose is to give a voice to people affected by bladder and bowel control issues, so that we can all better understand the challenges faced by those living with the condition or caring for someone who does. Its long-term aim is to open up conversations about what can be a very sensitive topic, and lay the groundwork to initiate positive, meaningful and enduring change, with the potential to make a real difference to people’s lives.

The report also features expert reflections on the insights gathered from people with lived experience, which have been built on to identify six action points for healthcare providers, commissioners, researchers, innovators and local government to consider. The action points suggest improvements to existing information, services and pathways and help guide thinking around developing or identifying innovative healthcare solutions.

The Voices for Change project is the second run of the West of England AHSN’s Create Open Health programme, which was established in 2019.

Find out more and access the report here.

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