Supporting the delivery of competent catheter care

In order to reflect developments in catheter care and to further clarify competencies, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Continence Care Forum has published updated catheter care guidance (RCN, 2019).  Continence and catheter care are essential elements of nursing care, in which the incorporation of best practice guidelines can improve quality outcomes for residents.

The guide is written and designed for a nursing audience; however, the RCN acknowledges that catheter and continence care may be undertaken by non-registered professionals working under guidance, extending its suitability for anyone required to undertake urinary catheterisation as part of their role.

Care homes with nursing, receiving funded nursing care (FNC) for their residents, will
be expected to provide all aspects of catheter care in-home, with the assumption that registered nurses are competent in female catheterisation as part of their registration (RCN, 2019).  However, inexperienced RGNs do not always, if ever, come complete with the confidence to perform catheterisation unsupervised.

In order to comply with Regulation 12: Safe Care and Treatment, care providers have a legal responsibility to ensure staff have the qualifications, competence and skills to perform their role (CQC, 2018). Training in care homes varies greatly in quality of content and delivery across the UK, and can be a costly endeavour with a poor attendance rate.

The new RCN catheter care guidance is a free-to-use online resource which provides concise, evidence-based, best practice checklists to support home managers with their training delivery. Many highly impactful online learning options incorporate this evidence base and provide a cost-effective, flexible way to deliver best practice training. This approach to improving standards of catheter care can only serve to benefit your residents, with the potential to reduce infections and other catheter-associated complications, and ultimately improve compliance results following CQC inspection.

At, step-by-step illustrated guides to Catheter care, Changing a suprapubic catheter and Administering a catheter maintenance solution have just been revised by Rachel Leaver, Lecturer Practitioner—Urological Nursing, at University College London Hospital NHS Foundation Trust: why not log in to your free trial and take a look at the updated content. More updated catheterisation procedures will be following in the next few weeks. If you need any help logging in, just email and one of the team will help you.


Guest blogger Vickie Wylde RGN,
former care home manager


Care Quality Commission (CQC). (2018) Regulation 12: Safe care and treatment. London, UK: CQC.

Royal College of Nursing (RCN). (2019) Catheter care. London, UK: RCN.