According to a recent Prostate Cancer UK (PCUK) survey, 95 per cent of men with continence issues experience anxiety because they might not be able to dispose of their incontinence pads or stoma products hygienically in an appropriate sanitary bin in a cubicle, when they go out. Worryingly too, around half of these men stated that they now reduce the amount of time they spend out of the house due to incontinence.
That’s why we’ve joined forces with PCUK and other organisations to support the Boys Need Bins campaign aimed at making things better for men and boys affected. We want every public toilet to have hygiene bins within cubicles for men, so males of every age can dispose of incontinence pads, stoma products and other hygiene waste items easily, safely and with dignity.
In September, UA’s Chair of Trustees Brian Fretwell represented our community at a Parliamentary event bringing together MPs, industry representatives, charities and patients to push for positive change. Constructive conversations were sparked and the campaign report (pdf) was launched, highlighting three key areas where change needs to happen:
- Creating new legislation for the specific provision of at least one male sanitary bin in men’s toilets.
- A national conversation about incontinence, pads, stoma bags and catheters, and how they impact men.
- Recognition by medical/healthcare professionals of the mental health and emotional support needs for men. as well as practical advice about managing incontinence.
“It is not satisfactory that men are told to use a disabled toilet to accommodate their needs,” said Brian, who lives with a urostomy. “I urge everyone who supports this initiative to contact their local MP about it. Prostate Cancer UK’s website has a template you can use to send an email.”
Along with our Boys Need Bins partners, we won’t stop lobbying until these aims are met. Watch this space for further news.