The Urology Trade Association, which represents nearly all urology product suppliers in the UK, has claimed the NHS is moving towards encouraging reusable catheters and reducing the types of catheters offered to patients.
It believes both these policies are harmful to patients and more expensive for the NHS. However, NHS Supply Chain, which buys catheters for the NHS, has rejected the claims. Catheters are tubes passed into a person’s bladder to drain urine. They are used by patients who, for a variety of reasons, cannot pass urine into a toilet. An NHS Supply Chain spokeswoman said the terms of the reference cited by the UTA were draft.
She said developing generic specifications was “not an objective of the National Bladder and Bowel Health project” and would “therefore have no impact on the way catheters are bought by the NHS”. She added NHS Supply Chain does not currently buy reusable catheters, and its new framework, which goes live in January 2020, has “no provision for reusable catheters”.
Asked about the claim that the rationalization of catheters posed a risk to patients, the spokeswoman said products it procures are “not only value for money but fit for purpose, safe and representative of health and care professionals and patient and carer needs”. he said NHS Supply Chain has “no current plans” to reduce the catheter product ranges, but she added the work of the National Bladder and Bowel Health project “may influence a change in specifications”. “Any changes will be agreed with… appropriate NHS bodies to ensure they meet the needs of the NHS both now and for the future,” she said.
Tags : Catheters, Cut down, Urology Trade Association, Chain, NHS bodies ,