Incontinence Pads on the NHS - Help

I’m sure many people on the forum have had to apply for free pads but my experience so far has been disgusting.

The district nurse turned up, told me that Mum didn’t drink enough to qualify for good sized pads. We had tiny pads delivered for the day time and a slightly larger one for the night.

After one day of using the “daytime pads” the carers were having to change Mums trousers and kylie pad every visit. We are now using the night time pads during the day, still Mum is soaking wet on every visit.

After asking for a re-assessment the same district nurse turned up over a week late, when I told her the pads she gave us were useless, even the nigh time pads weren’t working in the day, she went on the defensive saying they were the best pads they offered.

She asked me what I wanted, I told her at least two good quality pads a day would help. She’s now gone away and put in some clinical referral as Mums needs are above what they normally offer.

In the meantime we are having to pay for pads which are not cheap! I wonder if the district nurse would act like this if it was her Mother sat in a pool of wee for hours every day???

I had a similar experience, one of my carees had a stroke and was sent home with 5 adult nappys, that’s barely a days worth.

Poor lady did not want to make a fuss and ordered every week from the local care supplys company, she must have spent hundreds of pounds.

Eventually someone kicked off on her behalf and were supplied to her for free.

There should be a continence nurse available in your area, referral through the G.P. sorry I am not sure But i am sure someone can advise.

Mum got her nhs repeat orders from a supply company. I would phone them to reorder. If that’s the same with you, perhaps you could phone them and request a heavier duty pad. They could then phone your mum’s GP to get approval. Alternatively, you could call your mum’s GP surgery.

In my experience the district nurses are always encouraging you to drink more, and we all know that what goes in has to come out!!

Home bargains and Lidl do the extra pads really cheap.I think its 10 or 12 for less than a pound. You could have a look at these whilst things are getting sorted out.

Is there a food bank nearby? They might have some to give away while you do battle with the NHS service. (We were able to donate OH’s unopened packets and they said they sometimes had enquiries from people who needed them.)

Good shout Dusty … many of the larger food banks are now more like department stores … as the main FOODBANK thread will reveal.

Here in Worksop , on our shopping list … along with dozens of other items … to be added once funds come in … and additional
space is made available.

We encourage locals dropping in to tell us what they need … added to our list or deals done with local suppliers … a degree of
arm twisting needed there !

Bit harsh blaming the District Nurse Stephen…

As I’m sure you appreciate, a District Nurse does not decide what a healthcare trust offers and pays for and what they don’t. Don’t you think they are just as frustrated when they’re unable to offer this to patients?

I have a family member in the same boat and only a certain type of pad is available on the NHS. Other option, as you say, is to buy you’re own. Not ideal obviously but that’s the way it is unfortunately.

When you say she turned up over a week late, you do realise that the DN service is massively short staffed and underfunded, don’t you? As I’m sure you can appreciate, whereas its not ideal, things like this, unfortunately are low priority. The service struggles to meet the needs of people who need wounds dressed, diabetics etc which as I’d hope you will agree is quite important - people will die or be seriously ill if they’re not seen to.

As you might have guessed, yes my wife is a DN so I hear it all. Believe me, when the DN turns up and gets it in the neck from patients and their families it does not help anything.

I also see it from the other side too because my Dad is elderly…

I’m sure hes not the only one but he treats the DN like complete cr@p. Moans if they don’t turn up when he wants them to. Moans about this that and the other. I tell him but he doesn’t listen.

Honestly now - I’m sure they are doing they’re best. I think you’d be surprised how poor the pay is as well to be honest…

Wow did you just do that Paul? I tried to help and you turn it around and shout at me?

The District Nurse who turned up had no interest in the fact my Mum was sat in wet in clothes, just in and out and promises she didn’t keep.and I’m still fighting for pads to keep my Mums dignity.

I’m sure your Wife is a brilliant District Nurse, now go back to complaining about your poor Dad.

It’s a good job there aren’t any vocal frustrated spouses of social workers, paid carers and hospital staff, and ambulance drivers contributing to this forum. Imagine how the tone would change, and not for the better either!

Us unpaid carers are at the bottom of the pecking order as it is, let’s not turn on each other!

Shout at you? I’m sorry I thought you did but it wasn’t meant that way.

I merely provided an opinion and some info based on what I know to help provide an explanation as to some of the actions you experienced. As I said, the ability to provide certain pads as well as when the visit gets scheduled in is totally out of the DNs control.

Not sure if its the same in each area but my wife gets 30 minutes allocated per call. This includes travel time between patients. It is a poor system because no allowance is made for how far it is to the next call. It might be another person in the same care home (no travel time) or it might be 20-25 minutes drive away. And of course when a patient takes a turn for the worse e.g ambulance gets called, of course the DN has to stay, this could mean an hour or so delay too. Add in then having to call in the GPs surgerys, collect supplies, phone GPs, hospitals etc. And if they are short staffed the calls have to be shared around so quite often there are 2-3 extra calls for the day on top of this.

So it can look like the DN is rushing in and out. Its just time pressure and they have to get on with it. You can imagine how it is when you’re rushing around, have emergencies to deal with then someone has a go because they “requested” a 9am visit and you don’t get there till 11am. (My Dad does this to be honest, moans that he’d planned to go out and now he can’t because they’re “late”. Obviously, you are supposed to be house bound completely for DN services so it does annoy them when someone is blatantly not and then moans about it - hes been removed from the DN list twice because of this but his GP surgery keep putting him back on it - another story!)

But this DN probably shouldn’t have made promises. Scheduling is done at the level above so its likely you’re mothers follow-up (i.e. the DN gets given a list every day from the manager - they don’t decide where to go and who to visit) visit had to be delayed due to higher priorities. Like I said, wounds to be dressed, insulin etc. One person off sick - there is NO contingency at all - it all fails to pieces too.

I hope this info is taken in the right way and will help you get a better service from the DNs. Obviously, I can’t comment on the attitude of this specific DN - if it was unacceptable then please complain to the relevant authorities. Bad nurses are bad for everyone… Good nurses get more annoyed at bad nurses than anything else…

Finally, the comment about me complaining about my Dad. Was this really necessary?

“Sorry you thought I did”

I’m a carer, 100% for my 72 Year old Mother who has suffered several strokes and is suffering from Vascular Dementia, not to mention she can’t walk…
Only today one of her carers commended me on my patience, as Mum was very shouty with them and I calmed Mum down.

I’m not a saint, i lose my patience at times. Like with your post…for which i apologise.

I appreciate District Nurses have a tough job, but my Mum has been waiting for three months now for suitable pads and the district nurses don’t return my calls, it’s at the point they are just ignoring us… Totally unacceptable…

No probs Stephen. You have my sympathies… As you can probably tell theres no way I would have the patience… You are to be commended.

Problem is that on the organisation side the NHS is a joke. You’ve got tons of hard working doctors and nurses but the organisation is a shambles from what I’ve seen. Nothing is organised at all because admin staff just cannot be bothered… Of course NHS no-one complains.

That is not great that they’re not returning calls I must admit. Surely they should have explained options to you?
I know it costs but would buying you’re own be an idea? With my Dad, he was the same, completely pointless the free ones so he buys the full brief ones now…

But yes I know, NHS is supposed to be free and not everyone can afford to buy their own supplies. I get that. I don’t understand the thing with the pads though. If the ones they have are not up to the job… Its not as if you are expecting something special just something that works.

Mum has been paying for her own pads for three months now, I think the point is, she shouldn’t be!

Mum is self funding with regards to her care, whereas if she’d been holidaying in Benidorm wasting her money, she would get funding for her care. It’s the same old tale, those who save get squeezed of every penny, the frivolous have everything free with care funded by the NHS.

In that context, I don’t think Mum should be denied £50 worth of pads a month while others get the pads and thousands in care fees paid.

I phoned the District Nurses on Monday, only to be promised a phone call back. Shock horror, Friday comes and goes, nothing.

I’m at my wits end and close to making a formal complaint about the Nurse who has been out twice and not lifted a finger to help Mum…

Just an ex-carer butting in here. If the nurse told you these are the best pads they offer, this will be true. My brother had to pay for all his pads himself because the NHS ones were not big enough. The NHS ones were delivered free and they were of some use, but not enough. I don’t think it’s true that ‘others get the pads paid for’. Everyone gets them, but no one gets others than the basic NHS pads. So either pay for your own or have none!

Yep … a degree of … common sense , Greta ?

The official line … NHS :

Products to help with urinary incontinence - NHS


Can I get incontinence products on the NHS ?

Reading further down … each area MAY HAVE different criteria … better known as a post code lottery.

( Comical … some 5 miles north of me … one street … northern side , South Yorkshire … southern side , Nottinghamshire …
as for social services , might as well be a 100 miles apart !

Neighbours both need the same delivery … takes 2 to deliver it … not allowed to deliver to the one on the " Other side ! " )

It’s every carer for him / herself to take on their local NHS … the one and only enemy … or friend as the case made be ???

( If the only colour available is blue , and you want red … shop elsewhere ! )

And , if on a large manor , check out your local food bank … some are now more like department stores !

Not the normal “never give up” response from the forum, but hey ho.

I’ve actually been told that we are getting two of the best pads available, purple, ID Expert with 8 drops. Saving Mum over £30 a month.

Thanks for the support

Greta, if I’d took your advice Mum would be paying for her own pads until she died.

You are so wrong, different pads are available, but of course the Nurse is going to fob you of with the cheapest available, if you accept it, which you obviously did.

One of Mum’s carers told the District Nurse the pads weren’t fit for children, she didn’t like it. But at least it sank in and she asked what we wanted…

Hi Stephen,

I was trying to help. No need to be nasty!