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An elderly man and woman walk along a sunny tree-lined path away from the viewer
Bladder and Bowel Management

Preventing urinary tract infections in older people

Learn more about the 'StOP UTI' project and access resources for use in care homes.


The ‘StOP UTI’ project looked at ways to prevent and recognise urinary tract infections (UTI) in older people living in care homes.

UTI can be difficult to recognise in older people. This can lead to antibiotics being prescribed unnecessarily, which lessens their effectiveness.  

Preventing UTI is especially important in older care home residents as it accounts for half of antibiotic prescriptions and one third of admissions to hospital.

To help us understand what needs to happen we:

  • reviewed evidence from research studies and other sources
  • asked care home staff, residents, family carers and healthcare professionals about their experiences


With effective education and the support of managers, care staff can do much to help prevent older residents from developing a UTI. This includes:

  • ensuring residents drink enough
  • managing residents who experience recurrent UTI with preventative treatment
  • avoiding the use of urinary catheters wherever possible
  • involving the whole care team, resident and family in recognising UTI
  • enhancing the knowledge and skills of care staff to accurately recognise UTI  
  • using tools that support decision-making and communication across the wider care team

Health commissioners and regulators can enable this by promoting UTI prevention and recognition as a priority for care homes.

Learn more about the project background and findings

Resources for use in care homes

The project team is developing resources for care home staff to use to help prevent and recognise UTI among older residents.

We'll add the resources to this page as they become available.

You can also find some useful tools on the University of West London's I-Hydrate Project page.

Project summary infographic

Our infographic summarises the research findings described on this page. Download it for sharing or for printing up to A3 size (29.7cm by 42cm).