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Dispose with Dignity

In the UK, one in eight men (one in four black men) will get prostate cancer and many men experience urinary problems as a side effect of their treatment. Men, both young and old, need a sustainable solution to enable them to live their lives to the full.

The PHS Dispose with Dignity male incontinence campaign was launched earlier this year, after a survey of 2 750 incontinent men to understand the impact the issue has on their lives.

PHS launched its male incontinence bins, in partnership with Prostate Cancer UK. These were trialled and tested to ensure the incontinence products that men wear, fitted into our new bins. It was found that a normal sanitary bin didn't work as the opening is not big enough to deal with the size of the incontinence waste.

So far, there are 3 500 bins installed across our customers sites in the UK. Although there remains a lot of work to do around education and driving awareness to remove the stigma the campaign has opened the door to get men talking.

PHS is currently working on a threeyear partnership with Prostate Cancer UK, which supports PHS' purpose of putting people at the hearts of its products and services. Since launched the Dispose with Dignity campaign, PHS has raised £94 000 for Prostate Cancer UK.

Part of the partnership sees PHS lobbying Government and since March 2023, they have been working in partnership with Prostate Cancer UK to identify key stakeholders in Government. This has involved writing an open letter to Government and policy makers, to encourage them to review the current HSE (Health and Safety Executive) policy, to bring about change. All that we are asking is that the existing HSE guidance is changed from'sanitary provision should be made available to women' to'men and women', so that men can dispose of their incontinence waste with dignity.

At the moment, there is a provision for men to use disabled toilets to dispose of their incontinence waste. Between 3-6 million people in the UK suffer from urinary incontinence, and while leaks have traditionally been seen as a female issue, the campaign recognises that it is time for a conversation about the men who suffer in silence.

The response to the campaign has been positive. People are shocked when they realise the number of men that deal with incontinence issues – and even more shocked when they hear the Prostate Cancer statistics. This issue really resonates with people. PHS and Prostate Cancer UK are here for these men. As the leading hygiene services provider in the UK, Ireland, and Spain, PHS is doing its best to build awareness, but a big challenge is that men don't like to talk. Slowly, through the PHS video and the case study volunteers, that is changing. The campaign would like to see a world where men's lives are not limited by urinary incontinence. The campaign has been shortlisted for the Global Purpose Awards and for the Chartered Institute of Public Relations Awards 2023.