What we do

Formerly called the Continence Service, The Bladder and Bowel Service provides a specialist nursing assessment, treatment and management service for those individuals experiencing bladder and bowel incontinence and chronic bladder and bowel conditions from the age of 4 years old.

The service works closely with other community nursing disciplines and nursing and residential care homes in providing assessment and treatment for children and adults. The service works with Urology, Urogynaecology, Paediatrics, Colorectal Services and other health care professionals. The Bladder & Bowel Service is provided for the residents of East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen who are registered with a local GP Practitioner.

The Bladder and Bowel Service comprises of skilled and professional clinical staff specialising in bladder and bowel conditions, supported by a dedicated Administration Team.

Our clinical staff will:

•    Treat you with dignity and respect
•    Provide an accessible, timely and high quality patient-centred service
•    Complete an assessment of your condition and develop a treatment or management plan with you that is specific to your individual needs
•    Keep you fully informed of your planned care to enable you to make informed and supported choices
•    Provide you with a high standard of care based on current clinical guidance and pathways
•    Make your visit to our service as supportive as possible.

We provide a full assessment and tailor care to specific needs. We will always discuss your care with you to make sure that your individual needs are met.

How to access the service

The Bladder and Bowel Service is available to residents of East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen who are registered with a local GP practice.

Adults - If you are female, you do not need to see your GP to make a referral to us; however, we do ask that males visit their GP for a prostate health review and ask that the GP makes the referral.

Adults’ referrals can be emailed to:  bbsreferrals@elht.nhs.uk

Children - aged 17 years and younger may be referred by their Health Visitor, School Nurse, GP or Consultant and parent/guardian. The Bladder and Bowel Service has provided referral documents for health care professionals to complete in order to refer in to the service; however, parents/guardians may telephone or email the service to make a referral.

Where to find us

Appointments are available at various locations across East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen and you will be offered an appointment at the closest location to your home; however, if you are prepared to travel further, there may be an earlier appointment available at an alternative location.

The service has offices based at Accrington Victoria Community Hospital and delivers community clinics across many health centres. Home visiting is undertaken when necessary. The Paediatric Team can visit schools, special schools and colleges, if required.

Service Lead

Colette Goodman - Clinical Team Leader


Key staff

(Currently being updated)

General enquiries

For any general enquiries or advice about our service please telephone:

Adult service - 01254 359129
Paediatric service - 01254 359339
Paediatric queries:  paediatricbbs@elht.nhs.uk
Other queries:  bladderandbowelservice@elht.nhs.uk

Opening times

The service is provided Monday - Friday 8am - 5pm.

Out of Hours enquires should be directed to local out of hours services.

Your appointment

What to expect?


  • You will receive a full assessment prior to beginning a treatment plan or management of your condition.  
  • A bladder or bowel diary will be sent with an appointment for completion prior to initial assessment 7 days before your appointment.
  • A urine sample and list of current medication will be required at each appointment.

What happens at the appointment?

We will ask you to complete a bladder and/or bowel chart, along with questionnaires.  These are very important as they form part of the assessment. You will also be asked to bring a sample of urine with you to the appointment.

The Nurse will take a full medical history from you and will review your current medication if you are prescribed any by your GP.

The Nurse may also want to scan your bladder and they will ask for your consent to do this. You will be asked to lie on an examination couch and lift your clothing so that a probe can be placed on your tummy. The scan will indicate how much urine is left in your bladder after you have been to the toilet.

If any other examination is required, the Nurse will ask for your consent beforehand.  If you would like a chaperone to be present, please tell the Nurse prior to any examination.

After this, the Nurse will discuss with you the available treatment options and, if required, will provide a treatment/care plan.

What happens after the appointment?

During the appointment the Nurse will advise whether or not you will need to come to clinic again and whether or not they will write to your GP. The Nurse may write to your GP to request a prescription for you; if this is the case, you should contact your GP practice 7-10 working days after your clinic appointment to check if the prescription is ready for you to collect.

The Nurse may recommend referral to another health care professional e.g. Specialist Physiotherapy, for further treatment.  If you consent to being referred you will be contacted by the relevant department/service directly.
The Nurse may arrange for equipment or containment products to be made available to you and will discuss this at your appointment.  Further supplies should be accessed using the information that will be posted to your home after your appointment. 

What to do if your symptoms change

If you continue to experience problems or your symptoms become worse after your appointment, you should contact the service for a reassessment.

If you are unwell after your appointment outside the normal working hours of the Bladder & Bowel Service you should contact your GP practice (family doctor) for advice.