What is Incontinence?

Incontinence is a problem which nobody likes to talk about. Losing control of the bladder or bowel can be very distressing and embarrassing. Yet it can happen to almost anyone - young or old, men, women or children. It is thought that over 3 million people suffer from incontinence in the United Kingdom today, so even those who are not incontinent often have a relative or friend who has this problem.

There are many different types of incontinence - for example, bedwetting (which affects many adults as well as children), stress incontinence (leakage with coughing or laughing); urgency (having to rush to the lavatory) continuous dribbling or bowel leakage. For many sufferers incontinence is curable and almost every one can be helped once the cause has been established. The first step should always be to get professional assessment and help. This can be from the family Doctor, the Continence Advisor or Community Nurse.

What does the Continence Advisory Service offer?

The Continence Advisory Service is a community based scheme that offers a comprehensive service to advise all residents and staff on up to date methods of maintaining and promoting continence. Initial continence assessments will usually be completed by your District Nurse who can be contacted by your General Practitioner.

The Continence Advisor who is a qualified nurse with Specialist knowledge in this field, is available to offer:

  • Individual specialist assessment, advice and treatment in the Clinic or home setting if indicated.
  • Education and advice to professional and voluntary associations.
  • Information and a Resource Library providing up to date research.
  • A Resource Centre where aids appliances and equipment are on permanent display.

Who is the service available to?

The Continence Service provides help and advice to the following:

  • Residential Homes
  • Private Rest Homes
  • Schools
  • The Local Community for Waltham Forest
  • All Health Professionals
  • Voluntary Organisations
  • Social Services

Telephone advice is available from the Continence Advisor. If she is not available at the time of your call, a message can be left stating name and telephone number on the answering machine. Callers will be contacted within three working days.

All calls will be treated in a sensitive, respectful and confidential manner.

How can you contact the service?

Either by phoning one of the numbers below:


Continence Resource Centre

B7 Ward

Whipps Cross University Hospital

Whipps Cross Road



E11 1NR

Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm

Phone: 020 8539 5522

Direct line: 020 8535 6907


Incontinence Pad Service

Phone: 0800 072 9110

Or by referral via:

  • The General Practitioner
  • District Nurses, Health Visitor or any other Health Professional
  • Hospital Services
  • Social Services Departments

For more information about Continence, please visit the Continene Foundation website