PCF Clinical Network

Join our clinical network

The PCF’s clinical network is open to anyone with an interest in improving bladder and bowel services for children, young people and their families. It currently comprises over 200 NHS clinicians and staff who have engaged with the PCF either through our outreach, word of mouth, or research.  Moving forward, we welcome the involvement of anyone with an interest in our work to include, but not exclusive to health care professionals, MPs, education professionals, early years practitioners, local authorities, parents and carers.

The role of the PCF network is to support the PCF by sharing their knowledge about practice developments within and wider issues in the field of paediatric bladder and bowel care.  This helps to inform the PCF’s strategic priorities and policy work, as well as keeping them informed of what it is happening at local level.

What we ask from our network

  • Peer review PCF materials;
  • Feed into PCF policy priorities at annual reviews;
  • Informing the PCF of policy concerns at delivery level;
  • Informing the PCF of good practice and innovation at local level that should be recognised, celebrated and shared.

How to sign up

You can read the full role description of a clinical network member here.

To sign up to be a member of our clinical network, email us at paediatriccontinenceforum@whitehousecomms.com.

Remember to include your name, job title, employer, location, what your role entails, and your contact details.

Please see below for the latest PCF clinical network update, from November 2023.


PCF Strategic Plan 2024-2028

The PCF has updated its Strategic Plan to reflect current priorities, ensuring it is tailored to the new landscape of health and social care provision in England, with the introduction of Integrated Care Boards and remains aligned to healthcare provision in the devolved nations.

The vision of the PCF is still that: ‘Every child receives the support they require so that any bladder, bowel or continence condition or issue is treated promptly to allow them to achieve their full potential and maximum quality of life.

However, the Strategic Plan details a new, broader remit to include:

  • Raising awareness of bladder and bowel issues across early years, education, social care and health
  • Highlighting the importance of recognising local population need
  • Campaigning for improved provision of education, information and specialist multi-disciplinary services for children and young people affected by bladder and bowel issues

You can read the full updated Strategic Plan here.


PCF’s review of the Children’s Continence Commissioning Guide makes progress

The update to the Children’s Continence Commissioning Guide continues to make progress, led by PCF co-chair Davina Richardson.

As a reminder, the PCF’s Children’s Continence Commissioning Guide was first published in 2014 to support the commissioning of integrated, nurse-led, paediatric community services in all areas of the UK, so that children and young people who have bladder and bowel issues have access to early assessment and cost-effective equitable treatment. A central premise of the Guide is that all children from birth to 19 with bladder and bowel issues should have access to an integrated Community Children’s Continence Service (CCCS).

Once the updated Guide is finalised, we will circulate it to you for future reference.


NHS engagement

The PCF continues to engage with key leaders in local NHS systems to advocate for integrated, nurse-led, paediatric community services in all areas of the UK.

Building on previous meetings with leaders including in NHS Kent and Medway, the PCF has since met with the Executive Children’s Lead at NHS South Yorkshire both to raise awareness of the PCF’s work and to share data that the PCF holds on local service provision from the last Freedom of Information report. The PCF will now remain in contact with NHS South Yorkshire to provide them guidance on commissioning where required.

If you are aware of other local services that would like to meet with the PCF to discuss how to commission integrated, nurse-led paediatric community services, please get in touch at paediatriccontinenceforum@whitehousecomms.com.


Political engagement

The PCF continues to advocate for the importance of good quality paediatric continence services in all areas of the UK with political and parliamentary stakeholders.

Most recently, the PCF met with Dr Simon Opher, Labour prospective parliamentary candidate in Stroud (a Labour/Conservative marginal constituency seat) to introduce him to the work of the PCF and to discuss the PCF’s objectives. Political engagement will continue after the State Opening of Parliament on 7th November.

The PCF also continues to look for opportunities to engage with the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Bladder and Bowel Continence Care.


The Health Policy Influencing Group

The PCF plays an active role in the Health Policy Influencing Group (HPIG), run by the Children’s Health Bureau. The HPIG represents a strong, independent voluntary and community sector voice on babies, children and young people’s physical and mental health issues in England, and includes membership of over 70 leading voluntary organisations, Royal Colleges and professional associations. It also has strong relationships with policy leads across several government departments, enabling the group to contribute to the direction and detail of emerging policy.  The PCF co-chairs attend meetings and champion the needs of children and young people with bladder and bowel conditions, as well as the importance of prevention and early intervention.


The National Bladder and Bowel Health Project

Work through the National Bladder and Bowel Heath Project Children’s and Transition Workstream, led by Juliette Rayner (PCF co-chair) initially focussed on developing a new constipation pathway, which included prevention, early intervention from birth, through to the primary care pathway and then on to principles for management of unplanned hospital admissions for constipation. This work is complete and published on the NHSE website (see here).

The Children’s and Transition Workstream then turned their attention to looking at the transition from children’s to adult services.  The Burdett National Transition Nursing Network led a three year programme developing principles, tools and resources to improve transition across all areas of health.  A group of healthcare professionals came together to discuss how this could be applied to children with bladder and bowel health conditions and it was concluded that no further action was needed and that we should be advocating for and promoting the Burdett programme rather than re-inventing the wheel.  It can be found here.


PCF devolved engagement

The PCF co-chairs are scheduled to meet with the PCF’s devolved representatives for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in early December to discuss how to coordinate work across the UK towards the PCF’s overarching strategic objectives. The meeting will focus on ensuring that the PCF provides adequate support for activity in each nation, and on shared learning.


PCF members involved in new policy research on paediatric incontinence and mental health

PCF members have been involved in new research undertaken by the University of Bristol into early identification and treatment needed to prevent mental health problems, as a result of paediatric incontinence.

The research demonstrates the links between incontinence and mental health, the evidence base for achieving continence, and what needs to change to improve outcomes for young people.

Key policy recommendations are outlined in a briefing from PolicyBristol, and include:

  • Paediatric community-based nurse-led bladder and bowel services should be universally available and be integrated with mental health support.
  • Adult bladder and bowel and urology services should be aware that young people transitioning from paediatric to adult care are at increased risk of mental health problems and respond with appropriate referrals to mental health services.

School nursing services should be contracted to provide support for children to manage their bladder and bowel health and any associated conditions or issues while at school.


November 2023