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All providers of health and adult social care services are required by law to make suitable arrangements to meet the needs of and ensure the welfare and safety of service users, as cited under Regulation 9 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010.
Clinical commissioning groups are responsible for commissioning high quality continence services for their areas, based on an assessment of local need and performance managing their providers in the delivery of high quality services.
We recognise that continence can impact on every aspect of peoples' lives and that it often requires a joined approach from both health and social care services. The Department's forthcoming ‘Vulnerable Older People's Plan’, with its focus on improving and individualising the management of out of hospital care, will directly support those with continence problems by creating more integrated health and social care services.
To improve standards in continence care generally, the Department commissioned the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to develop clinical guidelines on the management of urinary incontinence in women (issued in 2006) and faecal incontinence in adults (issued in 2007), which are supported by commissioning tools to support clinical commissioning groups. NICE is also developing a clinical quality standard on incontinence, due for publication in February 2014.