Kent health trust chosen as a pilot site for improving wound care

Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT) is to be one of just five pilot sites in the country to run a new wound care programme.

The National Wound Care Strategy Programme (NWCSP) strives to make improvements in wound care. The aims are to:

•           develop recommendations which support excellence in the standards of care relating to preventing, assessing and treating people with complex wounds

•           achieve the best healing rates

•           minimise the burden of wounds for patients and carers.

KCHFT has five wound centres in Deal, Ashford, Herne Bay, Folkestone and Broadstairs. The centres are staffed by advanced wound nurses, supported by tissue viability specialist nurses. Specialist care is offered to patients with hard to heal complex wounds.

Nationally and at the trust, around 60 per cent of a community nurse’s time is spent on wound care.

A new strategy is being designed by working with key partners to see what improvements could be made, what needs to change and how to make this change happen.

The two-year programme has been commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement and runs until 31 March 2023.

At KCHFT, a Care Quality Commission (CQC) outstanding trust, the aims are to:

•           improve patient outcomes in lower limb management

•           improve standards of wound care

•           have consistent use of a digital wound assessment tool

•           demonstrate clinicians and patients are working in partnership

•           promote patient-led support groups.

The work will involve a review of hard to heal patients and sharing patient stories so lessons can be learned.

KCHFT’s Medical Director Sarah Phillips said: “We’re really proud and pleased to have been selected as a pilot site, having had stiff competition from all over the country. Becoming a national pilot allows us to focus on the progress we’ve already made through our wound care centres and to understand what more we can do to improve the lives of patients with lower limb wounds.

“The team is passionate about improving the lives of people with hard to heal wounds and providing best possible care to all our patients with lower limb wounds. Being part of this pilot enables KCHFT to lead the way in finding a solution.”

The team will be using quality improvement (QI) methodology and tools on the project. QI is an evidence-based approach to change in complex health and social care environments and is used by healthcare trusts worldwide.