The Manchester Chronic Cough Service at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) scooped two awards at this year’s Nursing Times Awards for their innovative approach to supporting and treating patients with urinary incontinence and chronic cough.
MFT was recognised with two awards, winning in the ‘Continence Promotion and Care’ and ‘Respiratory Nursing’ categories at the prestigious awards ceremony held in London.
Set up 20 years ago, the tertiary service based within the North West Lung Centre at Wythenshawe Hospital is one of the largest specialist services, with patients referred regionally and nationally.
In 2018, the UK’s first Clinical Nurse Specialist, Sarah Hennessey was appointed to the service in Manchester, who recognised that urinary incontinence was a significant problem with chronic cough.
Sarah has been pivotal in developing the service to better support patients with her holistic approach.
She said: “Approximately one third of our patients attending the service at MFT suffered with the distressing symptom of urinary incontinence but it often went under-reported for a variety of reasons – such as embarrassment, patients learning to live with it or feeling they couldn’t do anything about it.
“Even when patients did report it, it was often not actioned, and the emphasis was on the medical approach in improving their cough with tests and treatment.”
Sarah felt inspired to help patients with this issue and developed a patient proforma, which now means that all patients are routinely assessed for urinary incontinence during their initial consultation, and further holistic, evidence-based care is provided to those that need it.
Chronic cough affects more women than men and Patients affected with urinary incontinence are now referred to the clinical nurse specialist for advice and support, as well as signposting patients to local incontinence services for further management and assessment.
Sarah continued: “I feel I have revolutionised this area of care by bringing a previously taboo subject to the forefront and offering a service that’s never been accessible before.
“Acting as the patients’ advocate and voice has allowed them to feel more supported and listened to. Respiratory professionals now recognise the importance of identifying patients suffering from urinary incontinence and are aware of the pathways in place to support these patients at MFT.
“I am so proud to be part of this team and to be recognised at this year’s Nursing Times Awards. It an honour to receive both awards, knowing that the work we do truly does make a difference to our patients’ lives.”
The Manchester Chronic Cough Service within the Trust continues to grow, with approximately 450 new referrals per year – which has increased 219% since 2015, as the awareness of the specialised service has amplified.
Professor Jacky Smith, Consultant in Respiratory Medicine at Wythenshawe Hospital and Director of the NIHR Manchester Clinical Research Facility, said: “The awards are a testament to the incredible efforts of the team and their innovative approach in providing the best care and treatment to our patients.”
The Service is made up of a multidisciplinary team of four consultants, two research fellows, three speech and language therapists and a dedicated clinical nurse specialist.
Dr Paul Marsden, Consultant in Respiratory Medicine, who leads the Manchester Chronic Cough Service said: “This multidisciplinary service is very unique, combining clinical expertise and cutting-edge research, and is currently the only established service in the UK with a clinical nurse specialist. It has allowed our team to come together to provide the best care and treatment possible and these two awards are very well deserved.”