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Urinary Continence; Dramatically better outcomes with Flo

posted 11 Nov 2016, 05:41 by Philip O'Connell   [ updated 30 Mar 2017, 02:57 by Hollie O'Connell ]
NHS Western Isles  
Iain Trayner 
TEC Project Manager 


14 November 2016 

Urinary Continence: Using Florence to improve the lives of local people 


The NHS Western Isles Continence service provides advice and support to people living with the condition in these islands. 

Continence can be a very difficult condition to live with and many people can feel trapped, with everyday life becoming a strain for them and their families.

One of the tools used by the service is a pelvic floor improvement programme.  This requires the person to perform pelvic floor exercises up to 8 times a day.  Although very beneficial it can be difficult for patients, remembering to do the exercises in itself is a challenge and tracking progress is almost impossible.

Florence, a web based text messaging clinical interface is now being used to help people who suffer with this sensitive condition.

Florence (Flo) works by sending reminders to patients to do their pelvic floor exercises.  Flo also sends early morning texts each day to encourage fluid intake and then a text in the evening that requires a reply to monitor compliance.

Using Flo to support the patient ensures that the prescribed programme gets the best chance of success.  The regular discreet messages act as a reminder for the patient and the response question allows the specialist nurse to track progress.

“ The text reminders are brilliant, I would never remember to do the exercises if I was not getting them, I hear the ping on my phone, look at the clock and I know it’s time to do them 

Although still in its infancy, using Flo to support the service has proved to be very beneficial for those patients who have signed up for it.

Patient overview
The very first patient to use Flo on this programme had no pelvic floor sensation and had been told by the Urologist that nothing more could be done for them.  Consequently, this person has suffered for many years with the complications that accompany this condition.

After receiving the messages for just 3 days, the patient began to notice an improvement.  After 2 months, they now have normal pelvic floor sensation and life has changed dramatically for the better. 

“ I can now feel my pelvic floor! I’m amazed because they told me at the hospital there was nothing else they could do ”


Rosemary MacRitchie, Tissue Viability Lead and Continence Advisor is very enthusiastic about using Flo to help support her patients. 

“ Florence offers regular prompts and also lets me see how things are going, keeping up with a pelvic floor programme can be difficult and Flo is an excellent option to help people along the way