The project team started as a group of Urologists and Urology Specialist Nurses at Ashford & St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Trust. The Faculty now includes many other Consultant Urologists, Urology and Community Nurse Practitioners from many other NHS Trusts. Patient groups are also represented in our group.
The course was first designed for Community Nursing Teams in the early 1990s. The same material was subsequently used for Foundation doctors during their induction to clinical practice. In 2016, Surrey Heartlands STP supported the re-design for a multi-professional audience to be delivered across Kent, Surrey & Sussex. In 2018, the project came under the mantle of Health Education England for national delivery.
During a proof-of-concept phase (2016-18) supported by the Surrey Heartlands STP and the Darzi Fellowship Programme, the delivery of the course was linked to a systems-change-agenda. Improvements in clinical practice were monitored following wide-spread delivery of the course to a multi-professional audience in both Primary and Secondary Care. The ‘Secret Life of Catheters’ and associated course material was delivered to medical and nursing staff at St Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey. This included a targeted focus on the Accident & Emergency Department, our local paramedic teams (SECAmb), General Practitioners, and Care Homes within the catchment of St Peter’s Hospital. Local data and on-going audit and QI measures continue to show the benefits of this programme. The programme is now being extended to University Medical and Nursing Schools, Community Nursing Programmes, and NHS Trusts nationally.
The Department of Urology at St Peter’s Hospital is at the vanguard of developing Community Urology as a distinct service sub-specialty. A Community Catheter Support Team is founded on the teaching developed by the National Catheter Education Programme. An overview of the Community Catheter Project is available for those interesting in developing their own services locally.