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Professional Resources

Genito-urinary system

Urinary tract infections, urinary catheters and hydration can all be inter-related, so information on each of these topics can be found in this section.

A urinary tract infection (UTI) occurs when bacteria in any part of the urine system cause symptoms, and treatment with antibiotics may be required.  Severe urine infections can be life threatening, and lead to uro-sepsis – a medical emergency.

It is therefore important to take measures to prevent UTIs, and ensuring residents are adequately hydrated is a key measure.  Another important measure is ensuring that any resident with a urinary catheter has that catheter safely inserted, correctly cared for and removed when appropriate.

Knowing the signs of a UTI and what actions to take when one is suspected, is important for all care staff.

National guidelines advise that urine dipsticks should not be used to diagnose a UTI in older people.  Instead an assessment tool should be completed. The Leicester City, East and West CCG Medicines Management Team have developed a pack of information for use by health and social care staff across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, which explains how to recognise a UTI, what actions to take and how to promote adequate hydration. 

The information pack consists of the following:

Guidance on recognising the signs of dehydration, and a urine colour chart. It can be displayed as a colour poster.

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI): Prevention

Guidance explaining why a urine dipstick test should not be undertaken for care home residents over 65 years. It can be displayed as a colour poster or printed as a booklet.

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI): To Dip or Not to Dip

The tool care home staff should use when a UTI is suspected in residents over 65 years. The relevant sections should be completed and then the document faxed to the resident’s GP. The GP will review and decide on what actions are necessary. 

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI): care home assessment tool

Guidance for preventing dehydration and promoting hydration. It can be displayed as a colour poster.

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI): Hydration tips

Further reading

A leaflet for older adults and their carers explaining what a urine infection is, how to prevent it, signs and symptoms and what to do if you suspect you have one. It also includes what signs and symptoms indicate that the infection is more serious.

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI): Leaflet for older adults Public Health England document

Guidance on diagnosing, treating and preventing a UTI for women under 65 years. 

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI): Treating Your Infection: Women under 65 years Public Health England document

A factsheet explaining what is ‘normal’ and self-help measures for men affected by urinary symptoms. 

Urine Symptoms in Men – Self Care Forum Fact Sheet

Antimicrobial Guidelines for the Management of Catheterised Patients in the Community, 2017

This guidance also provides information on: 

Recognising a urinary tract infection

All the above guidance can be accessed via the Leicestershire Medicines Strategy Group 

Royal College of Nursing (2019) Catheter Care RCN Guidance for Health Care Professionals

This publication is a:

Resource and framework for practice for any health care professional (HCP)

who is required to undertake urinary catheterisation as part of their role (this may be a registered practitioner or an unregistered practitioner working under the guidance/supervision of someone on a professional register).

IPS and NHS Improvement: High Impact Interventions Care processes to prevent infections, 2017

The High Impact Interventions (HIIs) are an evidence based approach that relate to key clinical procedures or care processes, and when performed appropriately can help reduce the risk of infection. They are also a means of providing compliance assurance.  The HIIs ‘prevention of urinary catheter associated infections’, is just one of the interventions covered. 

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