Quality statement 5: Written information

Quality statement

Children and young people with idiopathic constipation starting laxative treatment, or their parents or carers, receive written information about laxatives.

Rationale

It is important that children and young people, or their parents or carers, are provided with clear, written information about how to take their medication and what to expect when taking laxatives. This will help to enable self-management and adherence to therapy. Providing evidence-based information that can be referred to later will help as a reminder of key advice and to answer any queries.

Quality measures

Structure

Evidence of local arrangements for children and young people with idiopathic constipation starting laxative treatment, or their parents or carers, to receive written information about laxatives.

Data source: Local data collection.

Process

Proportion of children and young people with idiopathic constipation starting laxative treatment, or their parents or carers, who receive written information about laxatives.

Numerator – the number in the denominator receiving written information about laxatives at the start of treatment.

Denominator – the number of children and young people with idiopathic constipation starting laxative treatment, or their parents or carers.

Data source: Local data collection. NICE Constipation in children and young people: audit support tool, criterion 21.

Outcome

Satisfaction of children and young people, or their parents or carers, with the provision of information on laxatives to help them to manage the condition.

Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for service providers, healthcare professionals and commissioners

Service providers ensure that staff provide children and young people with idiopathic constipation who are starting laxative treatment, or their parents or carers, with written information about laxatives.

Healthcare professionals provide written information about laxatives to children and young people with idiopathic constipation who are starting laxative treatment, or their parents or carers.

Commissioners ensure that they commission services from providers that can demonstrate that they provide written information about laxatives for children and young people with idiopathic constipation who are starting laxative treatment, or their parents or carers.

What the quality statement means for patients, service users and carers

Children and young people with constipation who are starting laxative treatment, or their parents or carers, receive written information about laxatives, including how to take them and what to expect from the treatment.

Source guidance

  • Constipation in children and young people (NICE clinical guideline 99) recommendation 1.8.1.

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Written information about laxatives

This may include the following:

  • Information on possible responses to laxative treatment that can be measured by the frequency, amount and consistency of stools using the Bristol Stool Form Scale and on how to adjust laxative doses in response.

  • Information about how bowels work, symptoms that might indicate a serious underlying problem, how to take their medication, what to expect when taking laxatives, how to poo, origins of constipation, criteria to recognise risk situations for relapse (such as the worsening of any symptoms or soiling) and the importance of continuing treatment until advised otherwise by the healthcare professional. [Adapted from NICE clinical guideline 99, recommendation 1.8.1]

Equality and diversity considerations

All information provided about idiopathic constipation and its management, including laxative treatment, should be accessible to children and young people, and their parents or carers, with additional needs, such as physical, sensory or learning disabilities, and to people who do not speak or read English. Children and young people with idiopathic constipation, and their parents or carers, should have access to an interpreter or advocate if needed.