Bury children’s continence service wins HSJ initiative of the year award

2 November 2022

A tremendous achievement for Bury Care Organisation’s Continence Service for Children and Young People, which has won the HSJ Patient Safety award for improving the care for children and young people.

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Heather and Claire at the HSJ awards evening 

Continence advisers Claire Bilsborrow and Heather Nuttall, make up the community service team. It’s their work in undertaking paediatric trans-anal irrigation in a child’s home instead of the hospital setting, that won them the HSJ accolade at the health journal’s Patient Safety Congress in late October.   

“Heather and I are honoured to receive such a prestigious award,” Claire says. “We’re keen to promote this initiative to other continence services for children and young people, so that they and their families also benefit.”

Children with difficult-to-control faecal incontinence may be prescribed a trans-anal irrigation (TAI). This system uses water empty the bowels, which makes movements more predictable and helps to prevent constipation and soiling. Prior to TAI invasive surgery was the only option.

Although an improvement over the surgical option TIA was being taught to children and young people – as well as their families – in hospital. This could mean multiple visits until Claire and Heather hit on shifting the setting.

“Our objective was to teach children and young people, and their families, in the comfort of their own homes,” Claire said. “This enables a time to suit the family, while also preventing travelling and parking costs, as well as there being no need to take time off work or school.

“NHS also benefits through less cost when carried out in the community and freeing hospital beds.”


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