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Healthcare Associated Infections

Indwelling Urinary Catheter Maintenance

Indwelling urinary catheter maintenance was identified as an educational need for staff working in care homes and homely settings who provide day-to-day care of people living with indwelling urinary catheters.

These resources are part of the intermediate layer of the Scottish Infection Prevention and Control Education Pathway.  Further information about the pathway is available on the pathway webpage.


NHS Education for Scotland (NES) Healthcare Associated Infection Team in collaboration with the Care Inspectorate have recently developed two practical and work-based educational resources for use by staff when caring for people with indwelling urinary catheters.

Key Content

The resources are designed to provide guidance on best practices and assist the carer in making decisions when further actions are indicated or when expert advice should be sought. The resources are for use at point of care and are produced with fully wipeable material. 


Printed copies were distributed to care homes across Scotland by NES/Care Inspectorate during April and early May 2016. Additional printed copies are in limited supply.

The resources include:

A3 colour poster

Designed to guide staff through a personal assessment of a person with an indwelling urinary catheter and provide guidance to help troubleshoot common problems related to urinary catheters. It details the correct procedures when emptying and changing catheter bags. The poster also alerts staff to the early symptoms of urinary tract infection and provides guidance on the measures that should be taken when this is suspected.
Download the A3 colour poster (pdf)

A4 double-sided guide

This can be inserted into a person’s care plan and acts as a guide for staff caring for a person with an indwelling urinary catheter. One side of the resource shows the poster, as above, and the other side has further guidance of the posters content providing the procedures for changing leg bags and removing night drainage bags in detail.
Download the A4 double-sided guide (pdf)


On behalf of NES and the Care Inspectorate a huge thank you to all the care homes who participated in the evaluation survey undertaken during April 2017.  

98% of respondants said they would recommend the resources to colleagues. Comments from the survey include: 

What positive impact has this resource had on your day-to-day work and people using the service?

Better and more dignified care for residents with catheters.

Staff are more informed therefore service users with catheter care needs are more consistently supported.

Best practices can be carried out with confidence and further knowledge obtained - a good reference tool.

How has the resource improved your knowledge of urinary catheterisation or resulted in a change in practice?

This resource has been used in our continence training for nurses and care staff and a refresher for nursing staff.

Plan to implement into induction programme.

Care staff are more aware of the signs and symptoms of urinary tract infections, and what steps should be taken to determine this.


For further information please contact 


Resources launched April 2016. Reviewed 2017. Due for review 2019.