Department of Health

National Continence Management Strategy

Incontinence is a significant health issue affecting children, women and men of all ages. It can have physical, social, quality of life, and economic implications for the individuals, their carers and the community.

The National Continence Management Strategy (NCMS) was established in 1998 by the Australian Government Department of Health & Ageing to provide funding to research and service development initiatives aimed at prevention and treatment of this significant problem.

The developmental stage of the National Continence Management Strategy received initial funding of $15.4 million over four years (Phase 1, 1998-2002). This phase had four major priorities:

  • Public awareness, education and information
  • Prevention and health promotion
  • Quality of service
  • Research

An additional $16 million was approved in the 2002/03 Federal Budget for the continuation of the NCMS (Phase 2, 2003-2006). Phase 2 focused on the implementation and administration of existing projects and the establishment of further projects addressing prevention, community education and improved management of incontinence by primary health care providers, and within community care and residential aged care facilities.

In 2006 an additional $18.2 million was provided to support the NCMS until 2010.

Continence Tools for Residential Aged Care

These evidence based continence tools and resources provide guidance for Residential Aged Care Staff for the assessment and management of incontinence in residential aged care.

NCMS projects

Projects funded through the NCMS align with the four major action areas and aim to improve the treatment and management of incontinence in the community; promote good practice in continence care amongst health professionals and raising public awareness about incontinence. This is achieved by working closely with stakeholders to provide informed consumer choice about treatment and management alternatives; support carers of people with incontinence through specific carer education and public awareness; encourage collaboration and best practice amongst health professionals.

NCMS Independent Evaluation

Management of the NCMS included the funding of an independent evaluation project to identify the policy, service development and practice implications of outcomes and contribute to future planning and development.

The Independent Evaluation Advisor and research team provided evaluation services to both the Australian Government Department of Health & Ageing and individual project teams contracted to undertake NCMS related research projects.