A project to initiate positive change for those affected by bladder and bowel conditions.
Did you know?
More than 1 in 5 of us in the UK are affected by bladder and/or bowel control issues?
Bladder and bowel conditions are very common in the UK, affecting more than one in five people – and yet it is not a subject openly talked about. More common than hay fever, we know that symptoms can significantly affect everyday lives.
We have developed the Voices for Change project – part of our Create Open Health open innovation programme – in partnership with the Bladder and Bowel Health Integration Team (BABCON HIT) at Bristol Health Partners, and Disruptive Thinking.
Its purpose is to give a voice to those people affected by bladder and bowel control issues, to understand the challenges faced by those living with the condition or caring for someone who does. The project’s long-term aim is to open up conversations about what can be a very sensitive topic, and lay the groundwork to initiate positive, meaningful and enduring change, with the potential to make a real difference to people’s lives.
As with any healthcare challenge, the starting point is always in thoroughly understanding the problems to be able to clearly articulate the needs.
During the discovery phase, we reached out to people with bladder and bowel control issues, as well as those caring for them, to gather valuable insight from those with lived experience. We especially wanted to hear from people who are disproportionately affected and from under-represented groups, and we offered an inclusive and accessible approach for information gathering.
Key learnings, insights and recommendations
The key insights and learnings from the discovery phase have been collated into a report.
The report explores many of the challenges faced by those living with bladder and bowel conditions, or caring for someone who does, drawing out problem statements that lead to the identification of six key themes:
- Wider health services
- Mental health and anxiety
The report also features expert reflections on the insights gathered from people with lived experience. We have built on these reflections to identify six action points for healthcare providers, commissioners, researchers, innovators and local government to consider – suggesting improvements to existing information, services and pathways and guiding thinking around developing or identifying innovative healthcare solutions.