Bladder cancer

A place for people affected by bladder cancer to support one another, ask questions, and share their experiences.

Does NHS pay for catheters used for Indiana pouch and Mitrofanoff

Posted by


I live in Canada.  I am a bladder cancer patient with Non muscle invasive cancer.  I have been involved with a bladder cancer patients support group about 2 years and I also participate to a ostomy support group.

Canada has universal care system, which is similar to NHS I think.

Indiana pouch urinary diversion for radical cystectomy for muscle invasive bladder cancer patients is chosen for selected female patients and it will require a catheter to remove urine from the pouch several times a day through ostoma. 

Though ostomy bag is covered for urostomy patients, catheters for Indiana pouch are not covered in several provinces.  So, I would like to know if catheters for Indiana pouch are paid by NHS.

Also, Mitrofanoff is another urinary diversion surgery for mainly children and young adult who were born with bladder abnormality called bladder exstrophy and with other bladder problems.  It will also require a catheter to empty urine from the augmented bladder. I would like to know if those catheters are covered by NHS.

Also if possibe, how many catheters a month are covered by NHS.  In US, Medicare which is for 65 years and older covers up to 200 catheters a month.

Thank you in advance for relevant information


Posted by

Yes, I have neobladder & rely on self cathing to fully empty. The hosp set up an order with a supplier (there are various different ones in the UK). I just order what I need, about every 4 - 5 weeks, they send the prescription to my GP for approval & then they send out the items by a delivery service. There has never been a query on the number needed - I use 5 or 6 each 24 hours, nor the type - I have some compact ones for taking out & others for home use, all single use items.

NHS does have prescription charges for patients (£9 per item) but many people are exempt for various reasons.  initially I needed to get an exemption card (on the grounds of cancer diagnosis) but now I'm over 60, they're free anyway. So it is possible that catheters for other bladder conditions might not be supplied free of charge. Of course we are all paying for the NHS via our taxes.

I'm aware that some people in US have re-usable catheters. There was a questionnaire about this a while back & it's possible these might be introduced for economy.

Interestingly there is a limit on number of incontinence pads that NHS will supply. When I was training neo & had incontinence, my local District Nurse set up a supply service, but that was only 4 per 24 hours. I had to buy more that I needed..

Posted by

Hi Joe, and let me welcome you to the community. I don't have the answer to your question as I don't use them, but I am sure someone will be along to help with your query. Wishing you well for the New Year. Best wishes.

Edit. Posted over Teasswill.

Best wishes to All,   rily.  What is a Community Champion ?

Posted by

Hi Joe

Hope this helps and is of interest.

It's the  NHS DRUGS TARIFF part ix 2020 (January 2020)

NHS Drugs tariff part ix January 2020 covers Catheters and Accessories and if you scroll down to page 329 and onwards to page 350 you find everything that the NHS will pay for. The items are supplied on GP prescription and can be dispensed by a high street pharmacy or a specialist dispensing appliance contractor.

In addition to the cost of the items supplied the pharmacy or contractor receives a fee to cover delivery costs per order.

Hope this is of interest and answers your questions.


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