Specialist Continence Service

The Specialist Continence Service provides information, support and treatment for adults with bladder or bowel problems. We also provide training, education and advice to carers and health professionals.

With good quality assessment and care, incontinence can usually be improved or cured. Incontinence does not have to be accepted as inevitable, whatever a person’s age or ability. For those people for whom incontinence cannot be fully resolved, continence problems can be made easier to live with the right care and appliances.

The NHS can only provide home-use products for the containment of incontinence following a comprehensive assessment. Pad provision is based on clinical need and according to specific criteria. Treatments to promote continence should always be tried first and may take some months to work.

While our team is based in the community at Knaresborough Road Health Centre, we provide outpatient clinics across Harrogate and Ripon. However, if patients are unable to attend the clinics, they can be visited in their own homes, either by us or the Community Nursing Team. Our Link Continence Practitioner spends part of her time at Harrogate District Hospital and is able to support ward staff with inpatients.


We are based at:

Knaresborough Road Health Centre:
Knaresborough Road

Please contact us for further details about our community clinics.


We accept written referrals to the Specialist Continence Service from GPs and other healthcare professionals. Self-referral is accepted, but please do talk to your GP first about the problems you may be experiencing.

If there is blood or mucus in a patient’s urine or stool, seek the immediate advice of their doctor prior to referral.

Referrals should be sent to:

Single Point of Access
Unit B3B
Crimple Court
Hornbeam Park

Fax: 01423 879842
Tel: 01423 554632


We have an annual programme of education for healthcare staff, both within the Trust and from private nursing and residential homes. These include continence awareness days, basic catheter training, catheter updates, bladder scanning and bowel care. These educational programmes may be booked through Workforce Development (01423 553179 or workforcedevelopment@hdft.nhs.uk).

Key staff

Specialist Continence Practitioner (Specialist Physiotherapist and Clinical Lead): Rachel Kerr

Continence Practitioner: Joanne Burnside

Continence Link Practitioner: Wendy McCulloch

Useful links

  • The Bladder and Bowel Community (www.bladderandbowel.org) – this UK-wide online resource provides information, advice, and support to those suffering with continence problems. You can also call their confidential helpline and talk to one of their trained continence nurses: 0800 031 5412.
  • PromoCon – offers advice and support, aiming to promote continence and product awareness. You can call their helpline on: 0161 6078219.

Patient Leaflets