A community-based audit of complex wounds and their care

A nurse dressing a wound.

Our community-based audit of complex wounds and their care has collected vital information about the number of people with complex wounds receiving care from NHS community services, the types of wounds being seen and the treatments being delivered. Together with information gathered through the other activities that form part of our wound care programme, the results of the audit will help to support:

  • Better planning of wound care services across Greater Manchester
  • The development of future research and implementation activities that, importantly, address local wound care needs and priorities.

Complex wounds (often referred to as chronic wounds), such as leg ulcers, pressure ulcers and foot ulcers in people with diabetes are common in the UK and throughout the developed world. These wounds have a negative impact on people’s quality of life and are also extremely costly. Costs to health services stem largely from the staff time required for wound treatment and management, most of which is delivered in the community by nurses (e.g. tissue viability nurses and district nurses) and podiatrists.

Drawing on previous experience of undertaking a complex wounds study in Leeds, we’ve recently completed an audit in collaboration with local NHS trusts, collecting information about patients with complex wounds receiving care from NHS community-based services over a two week period. The scale of this audit was unprecedented, covering the community services of four NHS trusts delivered in seven clinical commissioning group areas across Greater Manchester. Within each trust, a wide array of community services were involved in the collection of audit data from district nursing and tissue viability, through to children’s community nursing and intermediate care services. In light of the scale of the task, the audit was completed in three separate ‘waves’:

  • 8-21 June: Central Manchester University Hospitals and University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trusts
  • 6-19 July: Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust
  • 13 July- 2 August: Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Our wound care team are now in the process of collecting, inputting and analysing the data collected and are looking forward to reporting the findings of the audit back to participating trusts and services in the coming months. We would like to offer our sincere thanks to everyone who has been involved in the audit, in any way, for their hard work and dedication over the course of this work.