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COVID19 service update:

The Continence, Urology and Colorectal Service is restarting routine appointments as from Monday 5 October. 

All initial and urgent appointments will take place over the phone. Patients will only be asked to attend a face to face appointment if this is necessary. 

If you have had your care interrupted as a result of COVID-19 or were awaiting a first appointment please be assured that the service will contact you when the appointment date is known.

If you are concerned regarding a deterioration in your symptoms and would like a telephone consultation, please ring our admin team on 0113 8433715 or email

You may find the following web pages useful:

We provide assessment and treatment of adults with bladder, bowel or stoma and catheter problems. We support patients and their family/carer to self-care and control their symptoms.

We hold specialist clinics across the city and see patients at home if necessary. 

Who's it for?

Any patient, living in Leeds with a Leeds GP, aged 16 years or older. All patients will be asked to complete a self-assessment form before their appointment, this helps to ensure that the first appointment targets the specific problem(s) the patient is experiencing.

A nurse with specialist training in bladder and bowel care will talk to you so you can both decide the best way we can help. Bladder and bowel problems are very common and there is no need to be embarrassed. Simple tests may be necessary to find out what is causing your problem and so we can agree the best possible treatment. We will discuss this with you. We may need to carry out a physical examination. We will discuss this with you at your appointment and only perform an investigation you are happy with.

The service also provides advice and education to Neighbourhood Teams and other health, social or informal carer. 

Examples of our care include: 

  • Accessible care for people with bladder, bowel, pelvic floor and stoma problems

  • Specialist nursing care for patients with complex bladder, bowel, stoma and catheter problems

  • Providing advice on other containment products

  • Prescribing appropriate, cost-effective treatments 

These are only available after completion of suggested treatment program.

Useful Information 

The Continence, Urology and Colorectal Service (CUCS) provides high quality care to patients.
If you think you may be eligible for a home visit please read this leaflet before applying.

Benefits of attending a clinic appointment

  • The clinic offers specialist treatment and has diagnostic equipment that is not available for home visits.
  • You will be examined/treated on a specially designed couch to ensure you are comfortable during treatment.
  • You are able to arrange your clinic appointments to suit your needs.
  • You will be seen quicker.
  • Patients who really need a home visit will not have to wait as long.

Providing care for housebound patients is an important part of our service.
Recent research shows that healthcare professionals are at risk of developing musculo-skeletal disorders, such as back, shoulder, neck, wrist, hand, hip and knee problems.

These risks are much greater for staff when providing care in a patient’s home.
To provide patients with safe and effective care and minimise the risk of injury to our staff, we need to ensure they work in a suitable environment.

Patients eligible for a home visit

The following criteria for a home visit are based on the Department of Health ‘Eligibility Criteria for Patient Transport Services.’
Following consultation this criteria has been adopted by the Continence, Urology and Colorectal Service.
You may be considered for a home visit if the following apply:

  1. It would be detrimental to your condition or recovery if you were to travel to the clinic.
  2. Your medical condition affects your mobility so you are unable to travel without using an ambulance i.e. unable to take a car or taxi.

Patients not eligible for a home visit
You will not be eligible for a home visit if you are able to go out either by taxi, private car, motorised scooter, bus or use the Access Bus to visit any of the following:

  • GP
  • shops
  • relatives
  • pick up your pension
  • hairdresser or barber
  • dentist or optician
  • phlebotomist or nurse, or
  • luncheon club.

In these circumstances, you will be asked to attend your clinic appointment for your continence care.

Getting to the clinic

  • Use public transport. Metro: 0113 245 7676
  • Use or share a taxi. See Yellow Pages or Thompson Local.
  • Family and friends are often willing to help out.
  • Combine a clinic appointment with another trip such as shopping, personal or health appointments like going to the doctor or hairdresser.
  • If you use the Access Bus to go shopping arrange your continence appointment for the same day. Access Bus 0113 348 1903.
  • Contact a local voluntary agency that may operate a voluntary driver scheme.
    Please refer to ‘The A-Z Health and Social Care Information in Leeds: Mini Guide for Older People and Disabled People’ available in local libraries or Leeds City Council social services.
    0113 398 4702
  • Leeds Alternative Travel will take you door to door for a small charge.
    0113 386 8880
  • If you receive the high rate mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance or War Pensioners Mobility Supplement you must use this to pay for your transport costs to clinic.

Change in circumstances

If your situation changes and you are able or unable to attend a clinic appointment, please contact the Continence, Urology and Colorectal Service.
The nurse will review your eligibility for a home visit at each appointment.
If you are no longer eligible for a home visit, we will arrange for you to be seen at a clinic appointment.

How to apply for a home visit

To apply for a home visit you will need to complete a mobility questionnaire that should be returned to the address on the form.

What is the community stoma care service?

The community stoma care service is a service aimed to provide specialist clinical nursing care and advice to patients living at home with a stoma in Leeds.

What is the role of the nurse specialist?

The nurse specialist will:

  • Provide practical, psychological, emotional and social support for patients with a stoma
  • Act as an information source for patients, relatives and carers
  • Offer a telephone advice service for patients, carers and health care professionals
  • Provide integrated community care links with district nurses, GPs and other community health care professionals
  • Maintain links with stoma support groups
  • Offer regular evidence-based education, teachings and study days
  • Provide satellite clinics across Leeds
  • Make joint district nurse home visits where appropriate
  • Ensure the appropriate use of stoma care products
  • Work to improve the service in response to patient and carer needs
  • Work to improve the service in response to health care professional comments
  • Work to improve the service in response to research

The Continence, Urology and Colorectal Service (CUCS) is for anyone 16 years or older who experiences a bladder, bowel or stoma problem.

A nurse with specialist training in bladder and bowel care will talk to you so you can both decide the best way we can help.
Bladder and bowel problems are very common and there is no need to be embarrassed.

Continence products may be provided by the Health Service after an assessment and completion of suggested treatment programmes.

Continence products can be purchased from local shops, supermarkets, chemists, online or over the telephone and then delivered to your home from several companies / charities.

Company / Charity Details:

Age Uk:
Tel: 0800 046 1501
Mon - Thurs 8am - 6pm, Fri - 8am - 5.30pm, Sat - 9am - 1pm

Support My Life (Managed by Care & Repair):
Tel: 0113 240 6009
Mon - Fri 9am - 4pm
(you can also visit their shop at 323 Roundhay Road, Leeds, LS8 4HT)

Kylie & Kanga:
Tel: 0115 978 6111
Mon - Thurs 8.30am - 5.30pm, Fri - 8.30am - 5pm

Tena Direct:

Tel: 0800 393 431
Mon - Fri 8.30am - 5pm

Maintaining a healthy bowel is one of the essentials of healthy living, so it is important to know what can cause unhealthy and poor bowel habits. Poor bowel habits can lead to constipation, and / or faecal incontinence which is often uncomfortable and can be painful. The following information looks at several key factors, which help maintain a healthy bowel.

Normal bowel function

The bowel is part of the digestive system and its role is to digest the food that we eat, absorb the goodness and nutrients from the digested food into the blood stream, and then to process and expel the waste products from the food that the body cannot use. As long as stools are passed without excessive frequency, with minimal effort and no straining, and without the use of laxatives, bowel function may be regarded as normal.

How often should the bowel be emptied?

There is no right or wrong answer to this. There is a very wide range of ‘normal’ bowel function between different people. Only a minority of the population has a bowel action once per day. Some people go several times a day and others have several days between bowel actions.

Reviewing medication

Be aware - some medications can have an effect on how your bowels work. If in doubt, organise a review of your medications with your GP or pharmacist. Medication such as pain killers, antidepressants and iron tablets can cause constipation. Medications such as diabetic tablets, antibiotics or antiacids can cause loose stools (poo) which can lead to faecal incontinence. Discuss your laxative use with your healthcare professional and always let them know about medicines you buy from a chemist or on the internet. More than one laxative may be used to relieve your constipation. Too much laxative can make your stools loose. Your clinical nurse specialist will complete an assessment and support you with treatment and / or bowel management to reduce the risks of constipation, poor emptying and / or faecal incontinence to enhance your quality of life.

What may go wrong?

A number of things can go wrong with your bowels that may cause constipation or faecal incontinence. The nurse specialist will discuss with you what is wrong in your case.

What will help to make your bowel healthier?

  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Morning routine
  • Toilet position
  • Defaecation techniques
  • Medication review

Dietary fibre

Fibre is the non-digestible part of plant foods which passes through the stomach and bowel providing bulk. Fibre is important for maintaining a healthy bowel and can improve stool consistency and regularity. Most of us do not eat enough fibre in our diets. You can improve your fibre intake by including more of these foods:

Bread and cereals

  • Start the day with a high fibre cereal (e.g. weetbiscs, wholewheat cereals, porridge, muesli) or wholemeal or wholegrain bread.
  • Stock up your cupboards with wholegrains such as cereals, oats, brown rice, rye, seeded wholewheat crackers and breads.
  • Add oats, nuts or seeds in your cooking e.g. crumbles, toppings.

Brace and lift technique

The brace and lift technique is used to help coordinate defaecation. We teach this technique with the toilet position. Your nurse will show you how to do brace and lift in clinic and may teach you step by step or ask you to practise daily away from the toilet. Over time you may find you have fewer problems in achieving a complete defecation.

Step 1

  • Keeping your shoulders down, take a deep breath that makes your tummy and waist widen like a bellow effect.
  • Hold that breath and push out your tummy like a beach ball. You have now created extra abdominal pressure.
  • If you now say ‘idge’ you will sense your anus bare down momentarily. This is the first part of the technique helping you to poo.
  • Practise the above away from the toilet. How can we use breathing to help with pooing?

Step 2 

  • To poo, you need the bottom muscles to be relaxed.
  • Give your anus muscle a squeeze so that you have lifted that muscle and then relax. Relax again - this is the correct position for pooing. 
  • From step 1, try saying ‘idge’ at the same time as relaxing your bottom to enable pooing.

You can repeat steps 1 and 2 several times to help pooing.

Bristol Stool Chart

Type 3 and 4 are classed as normal, easy to pass but also easier to hold on to.

Type 1: Separate hard lumps, like nuts

Type 2: Sausage-like but lumpy

Type 3: Like a sausage but with cracks in the surface

Type 4: Like a sausage or snake, smooth and soft

Type 5: Soft blobs with clear-cut edges

Type 6: Fluffy pieces with ragged edges, a mushy stool

Type 7: Watery, no solid pieces

Fruit and vegetables

Aim to eat 5 portions of fruit or vegetables daily. Fresh, frozen, tinned or dried and juices are all good sources of fibre.

  • Eat the washed, edible skins on fresh fruit, such as apples and pears.
  • Enjoy fresh, tinned or stewed fruit as a pudding after your main course.
  • Add some fresh or dried fruit, nuts or seeds to your breakfast cereal.
  • Have some dried fruit, nuts or seeds as a snack between meals.
  • Try to have two vegetables with your main meal e.g. carrots and broccoli.
  • Add extra vegetables to soups, stews, casseroles and pasta. 
  • Avoid overcooking vegetables.
  • Serve salad vegetables with sandwiches, snacks and packed lunches.

Dietary fibre

Pulses E.g. peas, beans, pearl barley and lentils are an excellent source of fibre. These can add bulk to your stool.

  • Have them in stews, soups and casseroles.
  • Use baked beans and mushy peas or garden peas with your meals.


It is very important to drink plenty of fluids. Have at least eight cups, mugs or glasses daily (11 /2-2 litres, 3-4 pints). Increase the amount of fluid you drink in hot weather and when exercising. A variety of drinks all contribute to your fluid intake.

  • Water
  • Squashes
  • Fruit juices
  • Flavoured water
  • Milk
  • Tea
  • Herbal teas
  • Coffee

Drinking less than 8 cups could be a cause of constipation. However, over hydrating will not resolve constipation.

Do not ignore the call to have your bowels opened.

Putting off the call to go can be a cause of constipation or lead to urgency. Try to work with the body’s natural rhythm (emptying the bowel first thing in the morning).

Toileting position

The best way to sit on the toilet is:

  • Legs apart
  • Knees higher than hips by either using a foot stool or slowly bring your feet in to tip toe position (avoid doing at speed so as not to contract your pelvic floor)
  • Sit upright with your body leaning slightly forward (rest elbows on your thighs).

This position is the best way to assist with complete emptying of the bowel. Privacy and comfort will assist in the complete emptying of your bowels. Try to work with the body’s gastro-colic reflex (body’s natural rhythm) - it is at its most powerful first thing in the morning and secondarily post other meals in the day.

Morning routine

1. Start the day with a hot drink, like water, lemon, tea or coffee. This helps kick start the body’s rhythm.

2. Eat breakfast! This helps to move stools in the bowel, which will in turn help fill the rectum, and increase the urge to have your bowels opened.

3. After breakfast, wash and dress or do 10 minutes exercise such as walking or stretches.

4. Then sit on the toilet to encourage bowels to empty at a regular time each day (for no longer than ten minutes).

The morning routine can be used with all meals including lunch and dinner.


When increasing fibre in the diet, introduce the changes gradually, as a sudden increase can cause discomfort and bloating. Aim to increase the number of fibre rich foods you eat gradually over 3-5 days. It is important to drink plenty of fluid when increasing your fibre intake. Fibres and fluids work together to ensure a regular, comfortable bowel movement. Try to eat regularly, 3-4 meals a day will improve bowel regularity.


Whatever your activity level, increasing the amount you do will improve your bowel function. Aim for 30 minutes of activity a day e.g.  walking, aerobics or chair aerobics, gardening, housework, cycling, swimming or team sports.

If you are unable to achieve this for health or mobility reasons speak to your GP for advice.

Eat well guide 



Most referrals come to the Continence, Urology and Colorectal Service by a GP, Neighbourhood Team or hospital, although patients may refer themselves to the service using a self-referral form. GPs or other healthcare professionals refer patients by sending a completed referral form to the service.

Self-referral form 

Referral form (for professionals only)

Self-help videos

Abdominal Massage - self-massage 

Abdominal Massage - for carers

Tel: 0113 8433715


8:30am - 4.00pm, Monday - Friday

Halton Clinic
2A Primrose Lane
LS15 7HR

Domiciliary visits are provided and clinics are held across the city.

We are currently reviewing our website to make all content accessible. If you are looking for a download, such as a leaflet or booklet that you can no longer find, please contact the service on the details above.

Service Downloads and Useful Links 

Eat well guide

PromoCon provides products for people affected by bladder and bowel problems

CUCS Referral FormThis file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.

Catheter Passport: This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.

Indwelling catheter leaflet: This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.

Request an accessible format: If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of the documents listed above in a more accessible format, please contact the service directly using the details above. 

What to do if you need to speak to someone urgently...