Community nurses based at the Orchard Centre recently took delivery of a portable bladder scanner which benefits some 1,000 patients in the Rugby area.

Until now the team only had one scanner but now nurses visiting patients can take one out on home visits which means that they will no longer have to book out the one kept at the Orchard Centre and so reduces the number of visits and the length of time a patient is kept waiting for a scan and the subsequent treatment.

Patsy Taylor, Specialist Nurse – Continence explained “The Continence Service use a bladder scanner in order to give patients a more complete level of care. The equipment enables nurses to diagnose patients who are having problems with passing urine and gives a picture of any retention of urine within the bladder.

The scanner is also needed for patients who are having a “Trial Without Catheter”. Catheters are used to help a patient drain their bladder whether after an operation or perhaps because they have gone into urine retention.  These are not always permanent but in order for the catheter to be removed safely a patient will need to have a trial without the catheter in-situ and the scanner will be used to check the bladder after a few hours. lf the patient is retaining urine then  a catheter will have to be put in again but if the bladder  is draining properly then the patient may safely go home without their catheter.

The equipment prevents unnecessary admissions to hospital for patients with urinary tract infections and voiding difficulties. It also identifies patients with high volumes of urine seen by the urology team for example patients with neurological and prostate problems and saves them being admitted to hospital for the scan. We use this on a daily basis as part of our continence assessment.”

Photo by Navin Mistry  L-R: Patsy Taylor (Specialist Nurse Continence), Helen Ledingham (Secretary for the Continence Team),  Donna Haycox (Health Care Assistant) and Barbara Sheehan (Continence Nurse Advisor).