A new ‘patient passport’ has been launched at London North West Healthcare NHS Trust.
The 'patient passport' is designed to help reduce urinary infections and join up patients’ care in hospital and community settings.
The document will be carried by patients with catheters to ensure that healthcare professionals have access to all of the relevant information about the patient’s condition, regardless of where the patient is seen.
Dianne James, senior infection prevention control nurse, explained: “Some patients may have a catheter for only a few days, while others may need one for several months or even permanently.
"The reliance on catheters can often cause painful urinary infections, because the tube of the catheter exposes the urinary tract to the external environment."
"This collaborative approach across both our hospital and community services will enable staff to work together and provide all health workers with a complete view of a patient’s care, both at home and in hospital.”
The new passport also offers practical advice to patients about how to look after their catheter and what to do if it is not working properly.
This new passport will be given to every patient who leaves hospital with a catheter. It will detail why the patient required it and when it is due for review.
Healthcare professionals will be able to see when the catheter is due to be changed and if the patient’s condition has improved, meaning that they no longer require one.
Acting on this information will ultimately help to reduce the number of urinary infections and prolonged catheter use.
Figures from the Health Protection Agency show that 17.2% of all healthcare associated infections are caused by catheters and nationally there is a drive to reduce this figure.