Birmingham Community Healthcare logo

BCHC pilots GP partnership to break continence taboo 

The continence team has been working with the Modality GP partnership to reach more women suffering in silence with bowel and bladder problems.

As part of a three-month pilot, the continence team has been providing services at Modality’s fortnightly  community gynaecology clinic to assess and treat women experiencing bowel and bladder problems, which is helping more women in Birmingham to proactively manage their  symptoms without the need for a hospital referral.

Dr Aamena Salar, GP for the community gynaecology clinic at Modality, said: “When I first set up the clinic, I found that a lot of the women were coming to me with pelvic pain, and in many cases these turned out to be continence or bowel issues.  So there was a clear demand for a continence service, but there wasn’t a pathway and many women would end up going to hospital – which isn’t always necessary.” 

Anna Hancock and Dr Aamena Salar
Continence nurse specialist Anna Hancock and Dr Aamena Salar

“I contacted the BCHC continence team who agreed to run a three month pilot service alongside my clinic, which makes it easier for women to seek the help they need quickly and conveniently.”

BCHC continence nurse specialist Anna Hancock said: “Many women feel embarrassed talking about bladder or bowel issues with their GP and so problems can often go undiagnosed. Being onsite at Dr Salar’s clinic means that more women get the help they need early on and receive onsite assessment and support, rather than having to wait for a hospital referral.

“With support to practice exercises or access to specialist equipment, many of the women we see can manage their bowel or bladder problems themselves. For the patients that require hospital intervention, we can refer them having already assessed them, which means they are one step ahead when they get to hospital.” 

Following the success of the pilot, the Modality Partnership is seeking funding to for the continence service to continue as part of the community gynaecology service.

More information on the services offered by the BCHC continence team can be found on our website.  You can also find out more by watching an interview recorded by Made in Birmingham TV last week featuring Dr Salar and Anna Hancock.