Setting research and implementation priorities in complex wound care

Jodi Todd explaining why research is important.

Collaborating with local healthcare professionals, operational managers, patients and carers, we are working to identify key research and implementation priorities for improving wound care and wound care services in Greater Manchester.

Kicking off with yesterday’s one-day workshop with healthcare professionals and operational managers involved in wound care provision, we’re working to agree on a prioritised list of unanswered questions or ‘uncertainties’ generated by attendees that will be used to plan future local wound care research and implementation activities. The workshop was attended by key stakeholders from across the four organisations collaborating with us as part of our community services theme of work: Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust.

General 5 small

This was the first wound care research and implementation priority setting activity to take place locally; by identifying wound care uncertainties, and prioritising these, we can continue to develop a programme of community-based, wound research studies and implementation projects which are responsive to the needs and the context of local NHS services and the populations they serve. We plan to repeat the process with people who have complex wounds (and their carers) to ensure that the views of all stakeholder groups are included.

Pressure, leg and foot ulcers are examples of complex wounds, which are mainly managed in the community by nurses (for example, district nurses with advice from tissue viability nurses and other specialist nurses) and podiatrists. We know that approximately 79,500 people in England have a complex wound at any one time and that the healing of complex wounds can take months, years or never happen at all. Complex wounds are consequently costly, both in financial and human terms. The annual cost of wounds to the NHS has been estimated at £2.3-£3.1 billion; the mean cost to the NHS of treating one episode of leg ulceration is approximately £1,300, and the impact on health-related quality of life is high.

Read more about our wound care programme.

#WhyWeDoResearch

We decided to use our wound care priority setting workshop to join in with the #WhyWeDoResearch campaign. Originally launched on Twitter by a team at the James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to raise research awareness for staff, patients and the public, the #WhyWeDoResearch hashtag has gained a national following on Twitter. You can see a collage of images from our workshop below (click to enlarge).

Wound care event 300415 collage