Review decision date: February 2014

Review decision: 

Following consultation with stakeholders this guideline has now been placed on the static list

Next review date: TBC

This guidance offers best practice advice on the care of adults with faecal incontinence.

It was previously called faecal incontinence: the management of faecal incontinence in adults.

Faecal incontinence is a sign or a symptom, not a diagnosis. Therefore, it is important to diagnose the cause or causes for each individual. Because it is a stigmatising condition, active case-finding will often be needed, probably best targeted at high-risk groups.

All staff working with people with faecal incontinence should be aware of both the physical and the emotional impact this condition can have on people and their carers. Treatment and care should take account of individual needs and preferences.

Responsibility for undertaking a review of this guidance at the designated review date has passed to the National Clinical Guidelines Centre for Acute and Chronic Conditions (NCGCACC). The National Collaborating Centre for Acute Care is no longer active.

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.

Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.

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