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Health written question – answered on 10th September 2013.

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Photo of Jim Dobbin Jim Dobbin Labour, Heywood and Middleton

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he plans to take to address the deficits in training, diagnosis, treatment and patient communications in continence care identified in the recent report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Continence Care entitled, Cost-effective Commissioning for Continence Care.

Photo of Norman Lamb Norman Lamb The Minister of State, Department of Health

Responsibility for continence services sits with NHS England and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs). CCGs are responsible for commissioning high quality continence services based on an assessment of local need and performance managing their providers in the delivery of high quality services.

Health Education England has responsibility for promoting high quality education and training that is responsive to the changing needs of patients and local communities and will work with stakeholders to influence training curricula as appropriate.

The content and standard of medical training is the responsibility of the General Medical Council (GMC). The GMC is an independent professional body. It has the general function of promoting high standards of medical education and co-ordinating all stages of medical education to ensure that students and newly qualified doctors are equipped with the knowledge, skills and values essential for professional practice. Communication skills are an important part of medical training and there are a range of guidance and training curricula which set out common competencies that should be acquired by all doctors, including communication skills and interaction with patients.

Through NHS Choices we have provided information for the public on incontinence and continence services including causes, symptoms, diagnosis, risks, treatments and real-life stories of living with incontinence.

In addition, 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 quality standard on incontinence for publication in February 2014.

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