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Benefits of developing community leg ulcer services in college

  • 7 Comments

In response to the Darzi Review, High Quality Care for All,  ( DoH, 2008 ) Hampshire Community Health Care (HCHC) are currently undergoing exciting new changes in order to Transform Community Services, aiming to improve the quality of care and health choices, offered to service users.

A recent example of this transformation has been opportunity for HCHC to work in partnership with a local further education establishment in Hampshire, Fareham College to improve leg ulcer management in the community.  This is an exciting example of partnership working and is proving to be successful on many levels.

The Fareham Leg Care Centre was launched at Fareham College in July 2009, providing leg ulcer care for service users who would have traditionally been seen at home.  The centre is staffed by the HCHC community nurses.  The community nurses are able to offer full leg care assessment including Doppler assessment, evidence based wound care, well leg care and timely access to specialist nurses. The centre provides the opportunity for training and development of staff members.

Service users traditionally seen at home by community nurses are able to visit the centre, combining a health and social care need.  They can enjoy refreshments and company within the centre and also make use of the college facilities which include a restaurant and hairdressers. Those who are seen at the Leg Care Centre have the opportunity to learn from each other and enjoy the company of others rather than being on their own, in their own home.

The centre provides the health studies, sixth form and access students with a chance to gain experience within a real working environment, with a variety of health care professionals with different backgrounds, passing on their experiences to the students. The students can undertake a number of different tasks, such as meeting and greeting patients, answering the phone, making tea and coffee for the service users, making appointments and gaining hands on experience which they cannot obtain in the classroom. It provides a fantastic forum for both old and young to mix together.

Although still too early to quantify success, early signs are showing that healing rates are well within the expected time frame for ulcer healing and service users are enjoying the experience.

Authors

John Clements BSc (Hons), PGCE FE Lecturer in Health and Social Care, Fareham College, Hampshire,

Abigail Barkham RGN, Dip PHCN, BSc (Hons), PhD Student, Community Matron, Hampshire Community Health Care

  • 7 Comments

Readers' comments (7)

  • Full marks and congratulations to the new Community Leg Ulcer Services Team at Fareham College!

    However the idea of integrating primary health care for patients with leg ulcers in a community setting is not a new one.

    I was privileged to have worked closely with Ellie Lindsey, founder of the Leg Club Foundation at her first two Leg Clubs in Suffolk back in 1994 at Debenham and then Grundisburgh.

    We witnessed first hand the positive effects and benefits a Leg Club provided; not only for the socially isolated patient but for the many local volunteers and businesses in the community. It certainly broke down many barriers and suspicions and old wives tales about leg ulcers.

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  • Yes, many thanks this has been a great project to be involved with. It is good to see the old and young mix, and with it being open 5 days a week we can offer great continuity of care

    Abigail Barkham

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  • We hope to set up a leg club, but are unsure how our local peole will find it. Obvious lack of funds is an issue to get it up and running.

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  • The service users that come up to our Leg Care Centre really enjoy it. They are only too pleased to get out and socialize and recieve health care at the same time. The first visit can be full of anticipation but once they are reassured that it is an enjoyable experience they are more than happy to return. We were able to access innovation funding to set ourselves up, because of the unique college partnership, some contuinued costs are covered by them and we have the benefit of an infrastructure already in place

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  • If you go to www.legclub.org, you will find the information you need to set up a Lindsay Leg Club. This includes identifying stakeholders and how to identify and obtain funding.

    Studies have clearly demonstrated the social, clinical and financial benefits of the Leg Clubs - worth doing a bit of research into this as your patients (and team!) will certainly see the rewards

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  • Ellie Lindsay
    President, The Lindsay Leg Club Foundation

    I was pleased to learn that from a recent Leg Club website enquiry that Abigail Barkham has introduced a social model into a local further education establishment at Farnham, Hampshire.

    Especially as I had the pleasure of presenting the award winning socio-economic Leg Club model to Abigail and her Gosport community nursing team in 2005. Following my presentation and subsequent communications, support and visits I was encouraged that the nurses planned to take the model to the heart of their community with the ultimate goal of setting up a Leg Club.

    A proposal was submitted by the team to middle management, supported by published articles and research on the Leg Club model of care delivery for patients with leg related problems. No objections were raised, and the team proceeded with their project, working with the local community to identify suitable premises, set up a committee and volunteer group, undertake documentation training etc. One of the volunteer committee members journeyed to attend an award winning Leg Club at Chichester to gain a practical insight into its operation. In conjunction with members from their local community, the team organised a fundraising health promotion / education morning in September 2005, one week prior to the official opening of Gosport Leg Club.

    I was therefore extremely surprised to learn that the project had been stopped at the eleventh hour (six months after the proposal had been submitted) as the nursing team would not be permitted by their PCT to pioneer this evidence based concept in their area.

    The Lindsay Leg Club model has been widely implemented around the UK and overseas, was publicly endorsed by the Secretary of State for Health in 2004 and acknowledged by the then Prime Minister Tony Blair at an Innovators meeting at 10 Downing Street. In undertaking their college based initiative, Abigail and her team have successfully replicated elements of this innovative social model of patient-centred care. For further information about the Lindsay Leg Club model please visit our website at www.legclub.org

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  • Many thanks Ellie, yes we have come along way since those very disappointing early days. What has been achieved at Fareham College is fantastic and most importantly our service users love it. The Lindsay Leg Club model has always been an inspiration to me and the College Partnership adds an alternative spin to the social model of care. Hampshire Community Health Care embrace innovation and change providing quality care to our service users. I am very proud to be part of this long awaited venture. Thank you so much for your fantastic words of support

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