As you read this, the Wounds UK team will be finishing the final preparations for this year’s conference in Harrogate. For those of you attending, this will be a time to network with your peers and update yourself on best practice and new innovations. Legs Matter will be there, as always, so please come and say hello on the Society of Tissue Viability Stand 40 in the exhibition hall. We love to hear from you.
Feedback on our campaign is always welcome. It can be challenging to measure the success of a coalition such as Legs Matter. We know from our growing social media following and the increasing website traffic, that awareness about Legs Matter continues to grow.
We also know that there are pockets of excellent lower limb care across the UK but this is not consistent across all areas. Suboptimal care continues to be a problem. We still receive enquiries from the public concerned about the care they or their family members are receiving. As such, there is so much left to do.
The support we have seen over the years with Legs Matter awareness week has been fantastic. The ideas, activities and public facing events you have done are inspirational. Who could ever forget the inflatable flamingos? But as you know there is a serious message behind these events. Preparations for awareness week June 2024 will soon begin, but we know that our educational and awareness raising events need to continue throughout the year to maintain momentum in the campaign. Look out for webinars and other events across the year in 2024.
At the moment we are working hard to improve our website and we are continuing our focus on identifying suboptimal lower limb care as harm. The harm message will remain the focus for the coming year as there are many difficult conversations still to be had about how, why, and where patients and clinicians are being let down, and are receiving or delivering suboptimal care. Are the correct systems and processes in place? Are generalist clinicians supported and enabled to provide optimal care?
As part of this focus, please revisit our consensus document ‘Making Legs Matter: A case for system change and transformation in lower limb management’ (Atkin et al, 2021). This was published in 2021, but the issues remain the same. Revisit this with your senior leadership team. Use the ‘Test your thinking’ sections to help them see the gains that could be made through a system wide change in how services are delivered.
As we continue to highlight suboptimal care as harm, we must empower patients so they know what care they should receive. Our list of questions for patients to ask their GP or health professional How to Talk to your GP or Nurse About you Leg & Foot Condition (legsmatter.org) is available in leaflet form and online. We need to reach as many clinicians and members of the public as possible, so everyone knows what care is needed.
As a coalition we remain as passionate as ever about this campaign and we look forward to see what innovations and examples of best practice will be presented in Harrogate. Hopefully we will see some of you there.