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Know About Ulcers Blog

Complex Wound Service – Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust


There had been some work done by the CCG to
indentify what was happening in Gloucestershire with patients with leg ulcers. From that,
they identified that there was a number of different places in which they could receive
their care, so some were being looked after by the acute trust, some by practice nurses
and some by district nurses, so there was no continuity of care for patients. The CCG
from that recognised that it would be important to introduce a specialist service. Looking
at particularly the admission rates that were happening into the acute trust for lower limb wounds
and cellulitis and recognising that a specialist service can help to reduce those. I have a
venous leg ulcer. I’ve had it for 5 1/2 years. It started off as a tiny dot, I knocked my
leg. I’m diabetic, so that doesn’t help with my healing. So it is slower than probably
somebody who doesn’t have diabetes. I was referred here by my nurse at my local practice
in Charlton Kings, she’d heard about the new service. Whilst the wound may heal, the
problems that they have will always be there, so they’ll alwayys need to be under our care.
They’ll always need to have support in terms of the support from their veins, so it’s really
important from an early stage to build a partnership with them so that we can work together for
that long term goal. There are lots of consequences of having these wounds, it’s not just the
leg ulcer itself. The wounds can be quite malodorous, so people can find that other people don’t
want to spend time with them and therefore they don’t like to go out so they become quite
socially isolated. Coming here, the staff are very friendly, they make you feel welcome.
They put you at ease. I actually enjoy coming which I used to dread having my leg
dressings changed, mainly because of pain, but the treatment that they’ve used, they’ve eliminated
all of that. So having recognised that social isolation is a big problem for our patients,
we’ve introduced a Well Leg Cafe so that runs in our site once a week and it’s an opportunity
for our patients to come together. There’s three elements that are happening in that
Leg Cafe – we have a ‘come in, sit down, have a cup of tea, socialise, play bingo’, those
kind of things and just chat to other people that are in similar situations. We also have an mini education
session, so we run 10-15 minutes education sessions, on how to look after your legs, how
to eat well with poorly legs and those kind of things. And we also have an opportunity for anyone that’s got any problems with their
legs that they are worried about to be able to see one of our practitioners on site. I’m
positive, I’m relaxed when I come hear and the future looks a lot better. Since opening
the service, we’ve had some really good feedback from our patients, they feel included in their
care and enjoy coming into our clinics but we’ve also seen some really good clinical
results. We’ve seen patients that have had their wounds for a number of years being cared
for by other services, coming to us and going on to healing.

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