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Understanding chronic bladder illness from the patient’s perspective

urology call centre help
urology call centre help

Suzanne Evans

Business Director (CEO), Bladder Health UK

Supporting people with all forms of chronic bladder illness, including bladder pain syndrome/interstitial and bacterial cystitis, UTI and recurrent UTI, overactive bladder and continence issues.

We are a national, registered charity devoted to helping people who need advice and support with their bladder problems. The service has been available for over 20 years and, as we strive to raise awareness of bladder problems, we have seen the number of people calling us increase significantly. New mediums such as Facebook and Twitter have also made it easier and quicker to find us. New mediums enable callers to benefit from the knowledge and compassion we have for people trying to find help in understanding their condition and improving their quality of life.

Although we are a non-medical service we have extremely good links to health professionals when we need them, however, many of our calls are from those needing emotional support and the need to speak to others experiencing problems and how to cope with bladder pain and continence issues.

Expect friendly and experienced advisors 

Our advice line is staffed by sufferers as well as experienced urology nurses and we take calls from women, men and concerned parents as well as carers and family members. There is no time limit on the calls as we know that sometimes all people need to help them feel better is to talk to someone who understands.

Many of our calls are from those needing emotional support and the need to speak to others experiencing problems.

In particular, we would like to see more men call the advice line as we know that some of them find it really hard to discuss bladder pain and continence issues. All members of staff are knowledgeable and sympathetic but the nurses in particular offer a friendly and experienced service. If a caller wants to join one of our regional volunteer groups then we ask one of our regional co-ordinators to get in touch. We have 12 groups around the country and there is always a welcome for new members wanting to find comfort and support from a more personal involvement.

One of our key aims is to help sufferers understand the choices they have such as:

  • What kind of food to eat
  • What alternative treatments can help
  • What different products are available or suitable for them
  • What treatment pathways are available to them via the NHS
  • What treatment options are available
  • What surgical procedures are available

In order to continue to offer an informed, patient-based listening service, we work with corporates, commercial organisations and research establishments to maintain a level of understanding about new treatments and products that being developed. In addition, the value of collaborating with other charities such as The Urology Foundation, Prostate Cancer UK, Bladder and Bowel UK and ERIC is highlighted when we harness the collective power of these organisations to push for change i.e. the MUST campaign.

About Bladder Health UK

Bladder Health UK is a UK-wide charity committed to helping those suffering with chronic bladder illness via our advice line, social media, our online forum, membership newsletters and magazines and many other supportive resources. We have 20 years of experience and we are a trusted source of advice and information for men, women, parents, carers and other family members.

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