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District nurse scheme to treat leg ulcers in community wins award

An innovative district nursing service that has helped transform the lives of people with leg ulcers has won a national award.

The Powys Legs Clubs project scooped the award for improving quality through better use of resources at this year’s NHS Wales Awards.

The successful scheme saw district nurses join forces with local people to set up a series of drop-in clinics – or Leg Clubs – in community venues.

The model was developed by the Lindsay Leg Club Foundation, which provides training and support to help nurses set up clubs.

Local volunteers help run the clubs by fundraising, providing refreshments , and driving people to and from the venues.

The four Leg Clubs in Powys have proved a lifeline for many housebound and isolated patients, helping them get out and about and form new friendships as well as encouraging them to stick to treatment plans.

Meanwhile, the service has reduced the time and expense involved in district nurses travelling around the rural area where a home visit to one patient can take up to three hours.

There are an estimated 3,000 patients with leg ulcers in Powys and of those 2,300 are now members of a Leg Club.

Judges were impressed by the fact the scheme has helped reduce repeat hospital admissions for leg ulcers and saved more than £700,000 in district nursing costs.

“We’re delighted that work to improve care for patients with leg ulcers has been recognised by the judges of the NHS Wales Awards,” said Jacqueline Griffin, tissue viability clinical nurse specialist and leg club lead for Powys Teaching Health Board.

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