A project to initiate positive change for those affected by bladder and bowel conditions.

Bladder and bowel conditions are very common in the UK, affecting more than one in five people. More common than hay fever, we know that the symptoms can significantly affect everyday lives.

As part of our open innovation programme, Create Open Health, we are working in partnership with the Bladder and Bowel Confidence Health Integration Team (BABCON HIT)*.

The Create Open Health programme was launched in 2019 as an ‘open innovation’ initiative, in order to find new entrepreneurial talent with digital ideas, solutions or products to address key challenges faced by the NHS.

Now in its second run, and in partnership with the BABCON HIT, our combined aim is to develop a positive solution with the potential to make a real difference to the lives of those people living with a bladder or bowel condition.

As with any healthcare innovation challenge, the starting point is always understanding the problem. We do this by engaging with those affected, in order to gather insight about the challenges they face and the ambitions they have, living directly, or indirectly, with the condition. We have run a series of online workshops in order to gather invaluable insight from those affected by bladder and bowel conditions.

What happens next?

The insights being gathered from those with lived experience of bladder and bowel conditions, are critical to the Create Open Health innovation process. They will help us to create a series of problem statements, and these will statements will guide us in our thinking from the very start, as we move towards the next stage of the Create Open Health programme, to explore innovative healthcare solutions to the challenges identified.

If you have any questions or would like further information, please email Urszula Kapoulas, Senior Project Manager at Urszula.Kapoulas@nhs.net

Additional Support

For information, signposting and confidential support, we would also like to highlight the national helplines provided by:

In addition, BABCON recently launched a free app which provides education and advice to help people to understand their symptoms and try out things that might help. The CONfidence app provides practical help at your fingertips. It brings together trusted and reliable information, informed by people with lived experience and national experts providing specialist bladder and bowel care.

You can find out more about the app and download it to your iPhone or Android phone here.

This work is being delivered in partnership with the BABCON HIT and Disruptive Thinking.

* The BABCON HIT is one of Bristol Health Partner Academic Health Science Centre’s Health Integration Teams (HITs), created to take a whole system approach to bladder and bowel continence. You can find out more about their work here.

Disruptive Thinking is a business consultancy providing programme delivery in innovative sectors including digital, media and tech startups. Visit their website here.

The inaugural Create Open Health programme, which took place in 2019, focussed on solutions to help build resilience in young people to support their mental health. You can read more about this work here.