Inspiration: Healing leg ulcers at speed
Organisation: Nursing Department, Bromley Healthcare CIC
We have been working hard to reduce the length of time leg ulcers take to heal and have reduced the average length of time from 21 weeks to five weeks.
We have done this by:
- Keeping reliable information on who has a leg ulcer and its size
- Working with the tissue viability team on designing a standard care package and escalation process
- Introducing new technology
- Setting up a Leg Club
- Developing a Leg Ulcer Assessment service
Our data analysis showed us that some leg ulcers were taking a very long time to heal, and that our average length of time for them to heal was 21 weeks.
We worked with the district nurses to identify everyone with a leg ulcer and with the tissue viability team to design the best care process. The care package we provide now includes the use of technology which accelerates healing rates (see link at the end of the page).
In addition, we have set-up a leg club for people to have their legs treated in a social environment (see description below and links at the end of the page).
These interventions have made a huge impact on our average time for leg ulcers to heal, which in turn has released resources.
Our Leg Club
The Mottingham Leg Club is based on an award winning model founded by former district nurse Ellie Lindsay which motivates and empowers patients to manage their own care with confidence. This is the first Leg Club in London.
In the leg club, patients (called ‘members’ as they are in a club) are treated collectively but the emphasis is on social interaction.
The Mottingham Leg Club is in a church hall which is rented once a week. There’s a ‘tea room’ where the members can chat with each other and share their experiences. Volunteers raise money to pay for the rent and the tea and biscuits. The volunteers provide weekly entertainment and chair exercise classes.
Bromley Healthcare provides a specialist clinical team who treat and dress patients’ legs as necessary. Evidence shows Leg Clubs, which operate in a non-medical setting, lead to improved healing rates by encouraging members to become more involved in their care.
The only criteria for being a member is that the person has a lower leg wound and a GP in Bromley.
When the Leg Club first opened there were about five people to support. Four months later there are now have almost 40 people registered as members, who come regularly to be treated and who enjoy the social interaction the Club offers.
Area of work
In relation to the four foundations of our declaration, this project aims to:
- Care is about me
- Make London healthier and happier
Service user involvement?
Volunteers and members have been involved in setting up the leg club.
Advice for others
Gather the data to ensure that you can measure all that you need to measure, and involve your nursing teams throughout the redesign process.