Bowel Management Patient Safety Alert (SPINE 01/19)

Andrew Smart made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust,



I work for the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA), the leading national user-led charity supporting spinal cord injured people and their families. Being a user led organisation SIA understand the challenges of living with a spinal cord injury (SCI). We strive to support all people living with SCI to access the services and support they need to stay healthy and live full, fulfilling and active lives.

Part of my role is to assist the Head of Public Affairs with FOI requests, such as the one that follows. As a request under the Freedom of Information Act, please provide the following information about the recent NHS Improvement (NHSI) Patient Safety Alert “Resources to support safer bowel care for patients at risk of autonomic dysreflexia 25 July 2018”, Alert reference number: NHS/PSA/RE/2018/005

Q1. Does the Trust have a formal written policy for digital rectal examination, digital rectal stimulation and the digital removal of faeces in spinal cord injured and other patients with neurogenic bowel dysfunction?

(a) Yes
(b) No

Q2. Following recommendation of this patient safety alert, did the Trust “review your local clinical policy and guidance relating to bowel assessment and management”?

(a) Yes – produced a new policy
(b) Yes - revised an existing policy
(c) Yes – retained existing policy
(d) No – did not review an existing policy
(e) No – no bowel assessment and management policy in place

Q3. Is your policy based on the policy template that the Spinal Injuries Association circulated to your trust in August 2018?

(a) Yes
(b) No
(c) No bowel assessment and management policy in place

Q4. If admitted to the Trust will a person with neurogenic bowel dysfunction receive the following bowel care intervention – Digital removal faeces?

(a) Yes
(b) No

Q5. If admitted to the Trust will a person with neurogenic bowel dysfunction receive the following bowel care intervention –Digital rectal stimulation?

(a) Yes
(b) No

Q6. If admitted to the Trust will a person with neurogenic bowel dysfunction receive the following bowel care intervention –Trans anal irrigation?

(a) Yes
(b) No

Q7. Are staff available seven days a week to undertake these bowel care interventions?

(a) Yes
(b) No

Q8. Has the Trust “reviewed your local education and training provision for interventional bowel management” as recommended in the Patient Safety Alert?

(a) Yes
(b) No

Q9. As requested by the Patient Safety Alert, has the trust developed “an action plan to ensure patients have adequate and timely access to staff who are trained appropriately to carry out these procedures, including in the evening and at weekends”?

(a) Yes
(b) No

Q10. Has the Trust “shared your reviewed local guidance, advice on how to identify staff who can provide Digital Removal of Faeces, and the key messages in this alert with medical, nursing and other relevant clinical staff”?

(a) Yes
(b) No

Q11. Does the Trust have a policy that allows for the personal care assistants/carers of spinal cord injured patients to assist with this element of the patient's care?

(a) Yes
(b) No

Q12. As recommended in the Patient Safety Alert, have you identified “an appropriate clinical leader to co-ordinate implementation of this alert”?

(a) Yes (please answer Q13, but ignore Q14)
(b) No (please answer Q14, but ignore Q13)

Q13. What are the contact details for the “appropriate clinical leader”(ie name, position, telephone and email)?

Q14. Why has your Trust not appointed an “appropriate clinical leader”?

(a) Alert implemented without appointment of a clinical leader
(b) Took no action following Patient Safety Alert, as policy already in place
(c) Took no action. No existing policy in place
(d) Other

Q15. Are your newly registered nurses able to demonstrate the nursing procedures as required in Annexe B, section 6.5 of the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s document ‘Future Nurse: Standards of Proficiency for Registered Nurses’?

(a) Yes
(b) No

Technical Note – Relevant annexe reads:-

“Annexe B
6: Use evidenced based, best practice approaches for meeting needs for care and support with bladder and bowel health
6.5: Administer enema, suppositories and undertake manual evacuation when appropriate.”

If you have any queries or require clarification on any of these questions, please contact the Spinal Injuries Association at [email address]

Yours faithfully,

Andrew Smart

Frost, Nicky, Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust

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FOI, Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust

2 Atodiad

Dear Mr Smart,


I am writing in respect of your enquiry for information held by Southend
University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust under the provisions of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000.  We have now processed your request,
please find below our response.


If you have any further queries or concerns, please do not hesitate to
contact us.


Kind regards

Tracy Jeffreys

Patient Information and Document Administrator

Governance Unit


Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Prittlewell Chase I Westcliff-on-Sea I Essex I SS0 0RY

Tel: 01702 435555 ext 7028 I  Email: [1][email address]


Visit our website: [2]




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