A venous leg ulcer is a wound on the leg or foot that takes more than 6 weeks to heal, and it is considered to be the most frequently occurring chronic wound. Statistics reveal that one in 500 people in the UK have an ulcer, costing the NHS between £168 million and £198 million every year.1
The occurrence of ulceration has been shown to rise sharply with age and the data indicates that, owing to an ageing population, the number of people living with a long-term condition will increase by 23 per cent over the next 25 years.2, 3 Therefore, it is likely that the incidence of venous ulceration will increase, placing a further demand on healthcare resources. As a result of this, it is paramount that the treatment and care of venous ulceration is evidence based and takes into account all factors that have an impact on individuals living with this condition to provide optimal treatment and ongoing monitoring.
Venous leg ulceration is not mentioned in government publications as a condition of concern; however, the Department of Health (DH) has stated there is no definitive list of long-term conditions.4 More-over, a venous ulcer is generally caused by venous hypertension and, although ulcers can heal, the original cause of the condition is not generally curable. The key treatment to aid healing and prevent recurrence is compression therapy which is regarded as palliative, not curative.