Actioning an integrated approach to Neurogenic Bowel Care - NRH - NRH Foundation

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Actioning an integrated approach to Neurogenic Bowel Care

Back in 2017 the NRH Foundation support funded a new educational video on neurogenic bowel care for the spinal cord injured population. Recently, we were thrilled to provide additional funding for an update of this education video aimed at healthcare professionals.

As the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) is also a national training facility and a centre of excellence, the Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Spinal Cord Injury, in collaboration with the Academic Department, developed a suite of education, training and awareness programmes in neurogenic bowel dysfunction to align with Sláintecare’s ‘Stay Left, Shift Left’ policy. 

Bowel care is basic but not simple, so the right training is essential to support those living with a spinal cord injury in Ireland.

Recently at the International Conference on Integrated Care (ICIC) 2024, the team from the NRH, along with a NRH spinal patient, presented on the work that the NRH has completed to date in this area and the tangible impact it has had in supporting spinal cord injured individuals throughout Ireland. 

The NRH’s nationally accredited course on the Management of Neurogenic Bowel Care, has now been delivered virtually to over 1,000 nurses nationally while through the NRH Train the Trainer programme, since 2021- 51 nurses from over 35 hospitals and healthcare centres have been trained, thereby facilitating organisations to rollout appropriate training to their own staff.  The NRH team has also collaborated with undergraduate nurse training higher education institutions to integrate this crucial training into their curriculum.

Neurogenic bowel dysfunction is prevalent among almost all individuals with spinal cord injury/disease. Post injury, quality of life indicators reveal that the loss of bowel function is more significant than the loss of ambulation. Patients have expressed that bowel care affects their personal relationships, social integration, personal independence, whilst also hindering their ability to work and travel.  It is therefore vital that the NRH can continue to support all healthcare professionals throughout Ireland, ensuring consistent and safe quality of care to all who require it.

Thank you to our supporters for enabling the funding of this vital education video and for making a real and impactful difference in the lives of individuals with a spinal cord injury.

NRH Foundation