Collaborative scheme to improve wound care recognised with national award

A scheme to improve the care of acute and chronic wounds in north west London which has saved the local health service £840,000 has been recognised with an award from the Health Service Journal (HSJ).

The north west London wound care formulary project set out to standardise the products used to treat wounds across the region so that wherever patients are seen – at a hospital or in the community – the same ranges of general and advanced wound care dressings are used.

The team behind the initiative have now won the HSJ value award for financial or procurement initiative of the year.

As well as reducing any distress and confusion for patients with wounds when unfamiliar products are used, and leading to a reduction in the incidence of skin irritation and tearing, the project has allowed local health providers, including Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, to save money through joint procurement.

Across the region, a total saving of £840,000 has been achieved, including more than £188,000 at Imperial College Healthcare, one of the largest spenders on wound care in north west London, representing a cost reduction of a third.

Louise Savine, lead tissue viability nurse at the trust, said: “We know that for patients who are living with a chronic wound, or recovering from an acute wound, it’s reassuring to know that the same set of high quality products will be used throughout their care, regardless of location.”

Marcelle Tauber-Gilmore, lead clinical procurement nurse, added: “Improving the patient experience in this way was our primary aim through this project, but we’re pleased that we’ve also been able to make significant savings by working together with our partners across north west London. 

“We’re now collaborating across the sector to see if we can introduce similar schemes in other areas of patient care. When we can introduce consistent care that supports patients and staff and also saves money, it’s a win-win for both patients and the local health service.”

The project is a partnership between local NHS trusts across north west London, an area including 14 acute and specialist hospitals, four mental and community health trusts, and more than 400 GP practices.