Our Campaign Objective

Most people don’t like to talk about wee or toilet stuff – it’s still a taboo and embarrassing subject for many people. But it shouldn’t be – every one of your constituents has to wee somehow.

Despite bladder problems being some of the easiest medical issues to solve, too many people live with these problems in silence. We aim to get people talking about the challenges and barriers faced by people who use catheters. In our Calls to Action, we have outlined clear solutions which will improve the quality of life for patients who use urinary catheters. These solutions will also free up precious workforce time and save the NHS money.

What is #CatheterCareChallenge?

Coloplast UK, in partnership with MS Trust, Spinal Injuries Association and The Urology Foundation are heading to Parliament to host a one-of-a-kind ‘escape room’ style challenge to raise awareness of the #CatheterCareChallenge in the UK and call for action to improve outcomes for people who use catheters.

As an intimate health issue, the challenges faced by people who use catheters in the community are sometimes overlooked in policy conversations. People who require urinary catheters often do so due to a wide range of conditions, such as spinal injuries and multiple sclerosis. Conditions such as these can significantly affect a person’s ability to empty their bladder effectively, which can lead to chronic urinary tract infections (UTIs) and cause a subsequent significant burden on the NHS. In the UK alone, around 14 million people are estimated to be living with bladder conditions[i].

There are over 90,000 people in the UK who use indwelling catheters [ii]. This does not include patients who use intermittent catheters and whilst published data is more limited it is estimated this is also in excess of a further 90,000 patients based on industry data. 

So what are we doing?

A one-of-a-kind, immersive and interactive parliamentary drop-in event to raise awareness of the serious challenges experienced by people who use urinary catheters. The event is being hosted by Paul Bristow MP. MPs, Peers and policymakers will be invited to participate in a short ‘escape-room’ style challenge which will see them compete against colleagues to access a toilet, answering quick-fire questions about catheters and ultimately competing against the clock to ‘catheterise’ safely to give patients the best experience possible, whilst saving the NHS from avoidable costs.

During the challenge, parliamentarians will answer questions and overcome various hurdles to access a toilet in time. They will either ‘win’ and ‘empty their bladder fully’, or ‘lose’ and ‘fail to empty their bladder’ in time. We hope that this challenge will demonstrate the sense of urgency felt by people who use catheters. It will also highlight the need to access a toilet. In addition, it will also present an opportunity for attendees to hear about improvements that could be made to catheter care in the UK and their constituencies.

When and why are urinary catheters needed?

In most cases, a catheter is inserted through the urethra to drain the bladder. This can be inserted by a Health Care Professional (an indwelling catheter that remains in the urethra, or a supra pubic catheter that is inserted directly into the bladder) or by the patient themselves (using an intermittent catheter).

Intermittent self-catheterisation (ISC) is a highly effective method for managing urinary incontinence issues and is considered the ‘gold standard’ for urine drainage.[iii]

Patients should receive the care and treatment that is most appropriate to their personal needs and reflects their preferences, as outlined within the NHS Constitution.[iv]


What needs to change?

As well as raising awareness of the #CatheterCareChallenge, this programme of work aims to deliver real change in the UK. We have developed clear ‘Calls to Action’ for healthcare professionals, healthcare providers, policymakers, communities and employers, catheter users and suppliers/manufacturers. This is our Calls to Action.

How can you support?

There are number of ways you can show your support either today or in the future.

Catheter community / members of the public

Catheter community / members of the public

Learn more about how you can support

One of these ways is taking to socials, here are some suggested tweets:

  • @[INSERT MP]- As your constituent, please attend a great event in Parliament on the morning of 13 July. The #CatheterCareChallenge will highlight issues faced by thousands of your constituents who live with urinary incontinence https://coloplast.to/catheter-care-challenge

To find your local MP, as well as to find their contact details, please follow this link here.

  • Urinating: something we all have to do but nobody talks about. Many of the people we represent need to use a urinary #catheter to empty their #bladder. It’s vital they receive the information, care and support they need. That’s why we’re supporting the #CatheterCareChallenge
  • #Bladder symptoms are often 1 of the more solvable challenges but people aren’t talking about them. For #catheter users, opening up conversations is vital. We need change and that’s why we support the #CatheterCareChallenge @spinalinjuries, @TUF_tweets @MSTrust @Coloplast_UK
  • We hear from people who live with the need to use urinary #catheters about the challenges they face daily. Simple changes to their care and support can have huge benefits for them, their healthcare professionals and the NHS, for example by reducing #UTIs, costs and bed days. #CatheterCareChallenge
  • I/We’re backing @spinalinjuries, @TUF_tweets @MSTrust @Coloplast_UK in their #CatheterCareChallenge – we know how important it is that #bladder problems are dealt with appropriately. Let’s open the conversation on #catheters and drive the change needed.

At 8am on the day of the event. Suggested copy is:

  • @ [INSERT MP] As your constituent and a #catheter user, please join patients in attending the #CatheterCareChallenge event today in Parliament to learn about the issues constituents who live with urinary incontinence like me face every day https://coloplast.to/catheter-care-challenge


Download your pledge card here




Learn more about how you can support

If you would like more information, or to attend the event please contact Josh on +44 (0)20 3103 9554 / rsvpcatheterchallenge@four.agency.

One of these ways is taking to socials, here are some suggested tweets:

To post ahead of the event. Suggested copy is:

  • I’m looking forward to joining with @Coloplast_UK, @spinalinjuries, @TUF_tweets & @MSTrust at the #CatheterCareChallenge, to learn more about the issues faced by my constituents who use a urinary #catheter. I encourage as many of my colleagues to join me as possible.

Download your pledge card here


Press release


[i] NHS England. 2018. Excellence in Continence Care: Practical guidance for commissioners, and leaders in health and social care. Available: https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/excellence-in-continence-care.pdf [date accessed: June 2023]

[ii] Gage H, Avery M, Flannery C, Williams P, Fader M. Community prevalence of long-term urinary catheters use in England. Neurourol Urodyn. 2017 Feb;36(2):293-296. Available: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26878267/ [date accessed: June 2023]

[iii] Pannek J, Blok B, Castro-Diaz D, del Popolo G, Kramer G, Radziszewski P et al. EAU Guidelines on neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction. European Association of Urology. 2013.

[iv] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-nhs-constitution-for-england/the-nhs-constitution-for-england


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