Project - Catheter Care

Catheter Care

Help us promote best practice around catheter care.
Hospital trusts and community partners across South London are embracing Catheter Care. This programme achieved a 30% reduction in Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTIs) whilst also improving patient knowledge and self-management of catheters. Help us continue to create awareness around this complex issue.

Catheter Care Awareness Week


 At the HIN we’re running Catheter Care Awareness Week from 19 – 23 June 2017, as part of our work to reduce catheter associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) in south London.

Our goal, which we’re championing throughout Catheter Care Awareness Week, is to stop urinary catheters causing harm to patients and to improve patients’ wellbeing and recovery.  We’re also using the week to raise general awareness about catheter problems and to enhance clinicians’ knowledge, as well as encouraging people and organisations to get involved with the project.

Catheter Care Awareness Week is for anyone involved in the health and social care system in south London.

Key messages

Catheter Care Awareness Week is about empowering patients and professionals to question current practices, improve knowledge and reduce stigma associated with catheters.

The overall aim of Catheter Care Awareness Week is to:

  • Reduce unnecessary patient harm resulting from urinary catheters
  • Raise awareness about catheter problems
  • Empower patients and encourage self-care
  • Enhance clinicians’ knowledge

You may wish to use our Digital Pack to support your activities and promote Catheter Care Awareness Week to your wider networks. Click the links below to get:

·         Our Animation - we’ve worked with Age UK on this short but powerful animation which shows the devastating effects that catheter-associated urinary-tract infections (CAUTIs) can have on older people. The animation can be used as teaching support to increase awareness about catheter care, and to inspire healthcare practitioners in delivering care.

·         We met with some patients who use catheters, who have kindly shared their stories with us. Here is Alice’s experience of living with a catheter.

·         A Tweetsheet which includes some suggested tweets using our hashtag #cathetercare

·         Pledge cards and some suggested pledges

·         Poster templates that you can download and print

o    Template to add in your own events

o    Template with general information

·         Here’s an article the Health Innovation Network has put together about our work on Catheter Care Awareness Week. Please share this in your trust newsletters and publications, and add in your own activity in the template paragraph where we’ve left space for this. Please also feel free to add in your own quotes if you wish to do so.

·         Some films and vlogs about catheter care and our project:


· HIN-Kingston Story: Duncan Burton, Director of Nursing and Patient Experience talks about why we’re doing the Catheter Care project, the project’s aims, and the things that can go wrong when someone has a catheter. Peter, a patient, talks about his experience of catheter care, and Tracy Kelly, Senior Sister talks about current Catheter Care and Kingston Hospital.

·The Hospital View – Duncan Burton, Director of Nursing and Patient Experience, Kingston Hospital

Duncan explains why Kingston Hospital is part of the Catheter Care project and the importance of focussing on reducing catheter-associated urinary-tract infections (CAUTIs) from a patient perspective.

· The Health Economics View  – Marion Kerr, Director, Insight Health Economics

Marian highlights the costs that can be saved from the implementation of our Catheter Care project

·The Education and Training View – Stephanie Fade, Director, What Matters Cubed

Stephanie highlights the importance of using education and training to change behaviours and provide better catheter care in the healthcare system.

·The Age UK view  - Lesley Carter, Projects and Partnerships Programme Manager, Age UK

Lesley outlines the aims of the Catheter Care project from Age UK’s point of view; raising awareness with healthcare professionals around the risks of catheterising, and empowering patients to ask questions about their catheter.

· The Age UK view pt 2 - Ruth Isden, Health Influencing Director, Age UK

Ruth speaks on why Age UK have partnered with the Health Innovation Network to work on this Catheter Care project.


1. Darsen Panthin, Rapid Response Team, Croydon Health Services 

Darsen tells us about his role in the Rapid Response Team at Croydon and how we can help improve catheter care in care homes.


2. Trea Baker, Urology Nurse Specialist, St. Georges University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

Trea speaks about her role as a Urology Nurse Specialist and some patient-focus groups she has been running at St. Georges.


3. Trea Baker, Urology Nurse Specialist, St. Georges University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Trea talks about how she standardised her catheter-related products at St. Georges.


4.Tizy Ansell, Continence Nurse Specialist, HIN

Tizy discusses some of the reasons why so many people attend the Emergency Department with catheter-related problems and how this can be avoided.


The Health Innovation Network estimates that there are 152,000 inpatients with catheters each year across South London (18.8% of inpatient admissions), and of these over 9,000 develop urinary tract infections[1]. It has been repeatedly highlighted that a substantial proportion of catheter use is not justified by clinical need. Nearly one third of urinary catheter-days have been shown to be inappropriate in inpatients with 26% of catheters inserted in the Emergency Department deemed unnecessary[2].

Long-term catheterisation carries the risk of CAUTI and other complications (haemorrhage, blockage, and trauma). The annual cost of CAUTI-associated excess bed days in South London is currently estimated at £15.8 million1. Many additional patients are catheterised in the community settings including residential and nursing homes. 

CAUTIs have a devastating impact on patients, particularly older people, causing prolonged hospitalisation, re-admission and increased mortality. Despite the clear risks, catheters remain a taboo subject with patients, carers and the wider public. This ‘silence’ and stigma around the issue, particularly for older people, inhibits awareness of catheter care.

Our Catheter Care Project seeks to empower both patients and professionals to question current practices, improve knowledge and reduce stigma associated with catheters.

For more information on the campaign and to order materials, please contact

[1] Analysis conducted by Insight Health Economics for South London Health Innovation Network, based on NHS-ST and HES data

[2] Tiwari et a.l (2012) Inappropriate use of urinary catheters: a prospective observational study. Am J Infect Control. 40 (1) 51-4