Making it happen
The need for a pre-prostatectomy clinic was first outlined during a patient focus group which was attended by 35 recent or current patients. Many men expressed a need for pre-operative access to an erectile dysfunction specialist nurse and urology physiotherapist.
In addition, there is further anecdotal evidence that men find out lots about their treatment and recovery after their operation that they would like to know before. In response to this NHS Lothian set up a pre-prostatectomy clinic.
The clinic is run by a specialist senior physiotherapist. The funding from Prostate Cancer UK supported a Band 6 physiotherapist to support the senior physiotherapist with the clinics and provide an opportunity to develop more specialist skills in urology physiotherapy There are only a handful of physiotherapists providing this sort of specialist support to men being treated for prostate cancer in the UK; therefore bringing someone in at band 6 to train with the existing specialist physiotherapist will go some way to addressing the skills shortage. The clinic is now running on a weekly basis. The clinic teaches the importance of pelvic floor muscle strengthening and helps to ensure correct technique prior to the patients operation.
In addition lifestyle advice is provided and discussions regarding possible post operative bladder symptoms are discussed to help manage patient expectations.