Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common in hospital and community settings. The major risk factor for developing a UTI is having a urethral catheter. The longer the catheter remains in place, the higher the risk of infection. The consensus in guidelines is that indwelling urethral catheters should not be used unless necessary and should be removed within 24 hours if possible. The care of patients and nursing home residents who are catheterised for long periods could be improved if guidelines were implemented fully.