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Improving leg ulcer management

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The prevalence of venous leg ulceration is estimated to be between 1.65 per cent and 1.74 per cent in adults over the age of 65 years and older, with this population expected to rise significantly over the coming years.1 The aetiology of leg ulceration is multifactorial, pathology resulting in a complex condition.2 Generally leg ulceration can be divided into two categories; with venous ulceration reported as the most common at 60-80 per cent and arterial ulceration at 10-20 per cent.3,4 In Europe the cost of treating chronic wounds ranges from €6650 for a leg ulcer to €10,000 for a foot ulcer.5 SIGN Guidelines4 and RCN Guidelines6 provide clinicians with evidence-based recommendations in the management of venous leg ulceration, assessment, management and prevention of recurrence.

The tissue viability nurse (TVN) specialist team in the Northern Health and Social Care Trust (NHSCT) has a resource of 4.4 staff. The NHSCT is geographically the largest Trust in Northern Ireland and provides a service to a population of over 440,000 people. The TVN Team have active input into leg ulcer management in community, acute hospitals and private nursing homes, as well as operating a dedicated TVN-led leg ulcer service. The team's resources are lean and demands on the service are growing every year. The team felt a tool was needed to streamline the number of patients that were being reviewed at the TVN l

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