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Nurses awarded thousands for research on prevalence and impact of foot ulcers, and other news

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News in brief

A nurse working for Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has won a major national research fellowship to study foot ulcers in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Jill Firth, previously a clinical nurse specialist at St Luke’s Hospital in Bradford, is close to completing her PhD at the University of Leeds. She has spent the last three years studying the prevalence of foot ulcers in those with rheumatoid arthritis and the possible risk factors. Ms Firth has now been awarded one of the Smith & Nephew Foundation Post-Doctoral Nursing Research Fellowships to continue work in this area, look at the impact of foot ulcers on these patients and examine the care they receive.

Julie Santy, a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Health and Social Care, University of Hull, has been awarded a Smith & Nephew Foundation Doctoral Nursing Research Studentship, worth £90,000 to develop and validate an assessment tool for the identification of infection in external fixator pin-site wounds in adults.

Only one Smith & Nephew Foundation Doctoral Nursing Research Studentship and one Smith & Nephew Foundation Post-Doctoral Nursing Research Fellowship have been awarded this year.

For further information on applying for an award, please contact Barbara Foster at Smith & Nephew Foundation on 01482 673250.

Guidance on developing a lymphoedema service

The provision of care for people with lymphoedema is inadequate and the condition may not be accurately diagnosed according to Christine Moffatt, Director of the Lymphoedema Framework Project (LFP).

In an editorial introducing a new template for developing lymphoedema services Ms Moffatt identifies the need for clear guidance on how to secure funding and set up and run an effective service.

Lymphology Framework Project (2007) Template for Management: Developing a Lymphoedema Service. London: MEP Ltd.

Intervention to reduce surgical site infection

The Department of Health has published a High Impact Intervention Care Bundle for the prevention of surgical-site infection. The care bundle is based on Evidence-based Practice in Infection Control (EPIC) guidelines, expert advice and other national prevention and control guidance.

Elements of care are defined in the bundle and, if these are performed for all patients, the risk of surgical-site infection will be significantly reduced.

The care process is split into pre-operative and peri-operative care. Patients should be screened for MRSA risk pre-operatively and MRSA decontamination should be completed if required. A tool is provided so that compliance can be easily monitored.

Surgical-site infections make up 14.5% of the total number of infections in acute hospitals.

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