The third edition of the Best Practice Statement on Compression Hosiery focuses on improving the patient experience of medical compression hosiery for the lower leg, which include socks and stockings, by understanding the patient’s perspective and fostering a patient–practitioner partnership for supported self-management.
It is often easy to label a patient ‘uncooperative’ or ‘non-concordant’ if the outcomes of treatment are not as anticipated. However, it is unlikely that any patient is truly nonconcordant, rather, they have not yet received the right treatment, education, support and follow-up for their individual needs. Clinicians should employ a positive, confident, competent and knowledgeable attitude when discussing medical compression therapy with patients, which may help to influence the patient to become interested and engaged with their treatment.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated initiatives towards greater patient and carer supported self-management (NHS England and NHS Improvement, 2020). Consultations have increasingly been undertaken by telephone and video call, and patients have been able to text or send photos directly to their clinician. Evidence shows that when people are supported in self-management, they benefit from better health outcomes, improved experiences of care and fewer unplanned care admissions (NHS England and NHS Improvement, 2020). A growing number of people with wounds are willing to participate in supported self-management if they are given the right support and tools (Adderley, 2020).
An Expert Wound Group met online to discuss the advances in medical compression hosiery since the second edition of the Best Practice Statement: Compression Hosiery (Wounds UK, 2015) and to agree on Best Practice Statements to guide compression hosiery selection for patients. Best Practice Statements are accompanied by Patient Expectations to encourage shared decisionmaking and foster a supportive patient– practitioner partnership at every stage of care. The document is designed to be simple and user-friendly, and to put the patient at the centre of assessing for, selecting, prescribing and delivering care with medical compression hosiery.
Jacqui Fletcher OBE, Chair