The Transforming Wound Care national programme aims to ensure all patients with lower limb wounds receive evidence-based care which leads to:

  • faster healing of wounds
  • improved quality of life for patients
  • reduced likelihood of wound recurrence
  • uses health and care resources more effectively


The programme uses the evidence, learning and recommendations from the National Wound Care Strategy Programme (NWCSP).

The challenge

Most wounds to lower limbs heal within a few weeks. Chronic lower limb wounds are those below the knee that are slow or fail to heal. Chronic lower limb wounds account for at least 42% of all wounds in the UK, with leg ulcers being the most common type (34% of the total wound population, compared to 7% pressure ulcers and 8% diabetic foot ulcers).

A large proportion of the total wound care spend is for these chronic lower limb wounds because of their slower healing rates. In 2019, there were an estimated 739,000 leg ulcers in England with estimated associated healthcare costs of £3.1 billion per annum year.

Based on evidence from the National Wound Care Strategy Programme, the prevalence of total leg ulcers is expected to increase by around 4% annually, to over 1 million by 2036 if there is no intervention1. This is driven by an increase in leg ulcers that either recur after healing or those that do not heal.

Objectives of the programme

  • Use expertise of AHSN network in implementation, spread of innovation, quality improvement and patient safety to work with Integrated Care Systems (ICS) to develop models of implementation based on the NWCSP recommendations that reduce variation in lower limb wound care
  • Support ICSs to test models of implementation that aim to reduce variation in lower limb wound care, raising the overall standards of care
  • Support training and development of staff to ensure they have the capabilities to provide required care
  • Support effective data collection and evaluation activities that enable learning capture and better understanding of how to effectively implement the NWCSP recommendations.


How will we do it?

We will work with local healthcare organisations to establish a dedicated Lower Limb Wound Service which suit the needs of the local population.

The three key elements of the programme are:

  • People: the delivery of training to all staff supporting patients with wounds
  • Processes: implementing a new evidence-based model based on the recommendations of the NWCSP
  • Technology & design: supporting data collection and provision of care through a new digital wound management system


Six AHSNs are participating during phase one of the programme. These are Oxford AHSN, Eastern AHSN, Health Innovation Network (the AHSN for South London), Kent, Surrey and Sussex AHSN, East Midlands AHSN, and South West AHSN.

The remaining nine AHSNs will join in phase two of the programme, late 2022/early 2023.


If you have any questions about the Transforming Wound Care national programme please contact