A new AHSN Network programme which aims to improve lower limb wound care for patients has announced its first pilot sites.

The AHSN Network’s Transforming Wound Care new national spread and adoption 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).

In 2019, there were an estimated 739,000 leg ulcers in England with estimated associated healthcare costs of £3.1 billion per annum year. The biggest proportion of the burden of wound care is due to lower limb wounds.

Early modelling indicated that improving lower limb wound care would release 11% of community nursing time for other areas of care and reduce the spend on dressings due to faster healing and lower recurrence rates.

Five AHSNs are currently taking part in Phase 1 of the programme and will be supporting the local system to establish a local Test and Evaluation Site (TES) to pilot the programme.

The first round of successful sites are:


AHSN ICB Site(s)/ Community Provider
Eastern Norfolk and Waveney East Coast Community Healthcare CIC and Norfolk Community Health and Care
Health Innovation Network South East London ICB Bromley Healthcare
Kent Surry Sussex NHS Sussex ICB Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust (SCFT)

East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (ESHT)

Pioneer Wound Healing and Lymphoedema Centres (Pioneer formerly known as Healogics)

Oxford Frimley Integrated Care Board Frimley Integrated Care Board
South West NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

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

Rebecca Whitting, National Programme Director at the AHSN Network, leading the TWC programme, said: “Transforming Wound Care is an exciting programme which builds on the evidence and learning from the National Wound Care Strategy Programme. The AHSN Network will use its expertise in spread and adoption, working with local systems to support the implementation of the three programme elements. We are delighted to have our first Test and Evaluations sites on board, and look forward to working with them on this journey.”

The NWCSP is addressing variation in wound care across England, by improving healing rates and patients’ experience, releasing time to care and reducing NHS expenditure on wound care. Target areas are lower limb and surgical wounds, and pressure ulcers. The programme is commissioned by NHS England.

Dr Una Adderley, Director of the National Wound Care Strategy Programme, said: “This is an incredibly important programme which will significantly improve the quality of life for people with lower limb wounds. It will also bring large productivity benefits, particularly for community nursing, reduce pressure on general practice, and prevent urgent admissions to acute care. Improving lower limb wound care will ensure that everyone with a leg or foot ulcer gets quick access to high quality diagnosis and treatment. We’re delighted to be involved in the spread of this work, building on the brilliant work and learning from the NWSCP.”

Jennie Starling, Head of Community Commissioning, at NHS Norfolk and Waveney, said: “Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care System is pleased to be successful in its application to become a Transforming Wound Care Programme Test and Evaluation Site (TES). Our health and care system has a strong existing alliance and this programme will enable us to access additional support so we can transform services at a greater pace, helping the people of Norfolk and Waveney to lead longer, healthier and happier lives.”

If you’d like to find out more about the programme visit the programme webpage.

You can also email twc@eashn.org or contact your local AHSN to find out more and details of how to get involved.

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