Bowel Care: People with Spinal Injuries

Health and Social Care – in the House of Commons at on 23 April 2024.

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Photo of Gill Furniss Gill Furniss Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)

What steps she is taking to improve bowel care for people with spinal injuries.

Photo of Andrew Stephenson Andrew Stephenson Assistant Whip, Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The hon. Member raises an important issue. It is vital that people with spinal injuries receive care in the most appropriate environment to support their care and rehabilitation. The NHS has developed a range of guidance on the subject, including NHS England’s excellent incontinence care guidance. In addition, guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence set out the care that patients with spinal injuries should receive, including through a neurological bowel management programme.

Photo of Gill Furniss Gill Furniss Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)

There is a clear need for a national policy on bowel care in NHS settings for people with spinal injuries. I have listened to patients who have been left feeling abandoned and trapped in a hospital bed without the basic dignity of being able to use the toilet—all because of a lack of training for nurses in providing the necessary support. Will the Minister meet me and representatives of the Spinal Injuries Association to discuss how we can make the situation better and ensure that nobody is denied this basic level of care?

Photo of Andrew Stephenson Andrew Stephenson Assistant Whip, Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

I pay tribute to the hon. Lady for the work that she and the all-party parliamentary group on spinal cord injury have done on the issue. I would be more than happy to meet them.