Leg ulcers continue to challenge healthcare professionals despite having been a focus for research for over 20 years. For many patients they are a source of continuing distress and reduced quality of life yet, worryingly, the care they may receive depends very much on where they live and who they are treated by. With appropriate care delivered by skilled practitioners many leg ulcers (particularly those with straightforward venous aetiology) can be healed quickly and without complication. While at first glance it may seem that little has changed — we still ‘Doppler and bandage’ — it is evident that our understanding of what we do, as well as how and why we do it, has advanced considerably.
In this new Wounds UK supplement, one of a series that will be available with each issue of Wounds UK, clinicians will find articles on the practicalities of ABPI assessment, advances in bandage technology, how to engage the patient in order to improve concordance with care, and advice on improving healing rates by early identification and appropriate referral.
The aim of this supplement is to provide an accessible update for those interested in providing patients with evidence-based care, focusing not only on the interventions delivered by the clinician, but also the role played by the patient and the importance of having clear care pathways in place. Furthermore, it is hoped that the information and resources provided will support the delivery of education in practice.
With the current strategic focus on delivering high-quality, patient-guided care, experienced clinicians need to spend more time engaging with patients to draw up care plans that place them at the centre of any treatment decisions. We hope that the information in this supplement will help you provide the care that your patients deserve.