Care Plans

National Continence Helpline

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What is a continence care plan?

A continence care plan is a document that tells everybody supporting a person what help they need to use the toilet. The plan also sets goals to be achieved.

An individualised care plan is written after the toileting habits and needs of the person have been assessed in a continence assessment. Information for the assessment comes from:

  • the workers who support the person
  • the person's general practitioner (GP) or other health care professional, such as a physiotherapist or occupational therapist
  • the person's family and friends
  • the person themselves.

For more information on continence assessments, go to Continence assessments.

How long does the plan last?

All continence care plans need to be reviewed regularly to make sure any changes are not missed. The plan should also be reviewed whenever the person's health or needs change, or if the plan stops working.

How do you know if the plan isn't working?

The plan isn't working if the person:

  • won't let you take them to the toilet at the times in the plan
  • won't wear the continence pads or pants that are recommended in the plan
  • is wet or soiled before they get to the toilet
  • is suddenly wetting or soiling themselves when they weren't before
  • has a change in their health
  • isn't able to move around on their own as easily as before.

If the plan isn't working, the person's GP, a continence nurse advisor or other health care professional will need to review it.

Need more help? Call the National Continence Helpline on 18OO 33 OO 66 and talk to a continence nurse advisor.

Take the Quiz

Question 1

A continence care plan:

is written for the person after a continence assessment

is a waste of time if the person can't go to the toilet on their own

doesn't need to be followed by everybody providing support

should be the same for everyone.

Question 2

A continence care plan:

tells everyone supporting the person what help they need to use the toilet

should only be followed if you have the time

isn't followed by the support workers

never needs to be changed.

Question 3

A sign that a continence care plan isn't working is if:

the person always gets to the toilet in time

the person lets you take them to the toilet at the time in the plan

the person won't sit on the toilet at the times written in the plan.

the person has to wear a continence pad

Question 4

A continence care plan should be reviewed:


only by the person's GP

when something changes in the person's health

only by the person's physiotherapist.

This information is not a substitute for independent professional advice.