Children's services

Paediatric Continence Service

Who we are

We are registered nurses with a special focus on bladder and bowel issues in children and young people.

The term “continence” is interchangeable with “bladder and bowel dysfunction” or “wetting and soiling problems.” Paediatric continence relates to children and young people from birth up to the age of 19, including those with physical disabilities and learning difficulties.

The service offers support, advice and treatment to children and young people and their carers on any continence issues. Their aim is to achieve full continence but where this is not possible to enable the child, young person, or their carers to manage their condition in the best possible way.

The continence nurses, supported by Bladder and Bowel Educators promote healthy bladder and bowel function. Most children and young people can achieve continence but where this is not possible, from the age of four years, a product service is offered.

How we work and where you can access the Service

Our nurses work across Somerset with children and young people, referred to them by GPs, health professionals, or through self-referral by parents/carers.

What to expect from our service

  • Once we have received a referral for your child, we will send you a letter detailing how to make an appointment together with chart(s) to monitor your child’s bladder and/or bowel habits.
  • The information on these charts helps us to complete our assessment and to create an effective treatment plan.
  • Please allow up to an hour for your first appointment and 30 minutes for follow up appointments.
  • You and your child will be involved in deciding the best course of action.
  • Please be aware that if you miss your appointment and we do not hear from you within one month, you will be discharged from our service and your GP/referrer will be informed. Also, if you miss two appointments this will also result in discharge from our service as it is important that we have consistent engagement for a successful outcome.

We will

  • Be kind and caring.
  • Be happy to talk about wee and poo.
  • Help you with your wee and poo problems.
  • Give you an appointment and follow up when needed.
  • Be on the end of a phone to help you.

We need you to

  • Attend appointments.
  • Complete the charts you have been given.
  • Follow the treatment plan.
  • Give medicine if prescribed.

Hints and tips for children and young people

Are you drinking enough?

  • You should be drinking six-eight drinks spread throughout the day including at school. Avoid fizzy, caffeinated drinks as well as hot chocolate and dark coloured drinks such as blackcurrant.
  • Stop drinks two hours before bedtime
  • Have two wees after your last drink before bedtime to fully empty the bladder.
  • Boys – you need to sit on the loo too!
  • Use a footstool for good positioning and help empty the bladder and bowel