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Wound Care self-management support

posted 4 Sept 2015, 06:11 by Philip O'Connell   [ updated 16 Oct 2017, 03:08 by Hollie Stirman ]

Pennine Care 
NHS Foundation Trust  

Community nurses from Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust have developed an innovative method to provide self-management support for people who require wound care.

Flo enables a series of text messages to be sent to service users - providing information and prompts around effectively and safely taking care of their wound.  The nurses provide a detailed induction so the service user is clear about how the system will be used, what they need to do and how to raise any concerns.  The nurse also provides them with the required information and resources to support effective decision-making.

Flo is used with service users who meet very tight criteria – to ensure it is appropriate and safe for their needs.  This is be determined through a detailed assessment and discussion between the nurse and service user.

The system is not designed to replace nursing care, but to complement it.  Not only does it increase people’s confidence and independence to self-manage their condition and provide them with more flexibility, it also means nurses don’t need to visit people as often. This frees up their time to provide care for people with more complex or specialist health needs.

Fewer nurse visits and successful clinical outcome

Janice Scott, 53, from Middleton was one of the first people to benefit from wound care support via Flo.  After Janice’s mum, Joyce Keeling, 95, was discharged from hospital, she had a wound on her leg that required regular observation and twice-weekly dressing changes.  After being shown what to do by a district nurse, Janice took over changing the dressings and received a text message prompt reminding her when to do so. She was also advised about warning signs to look out for, which might indicate a problem with the wound, such as an infection developing.

Should Janice have any concerns, she had the option to contact the nurses and request an urgent visit.

Janice received support for eight weeks and her mum was also visited by a community nurse every fortnight to ensure the wound was healing properly.  Jo Thompson, Community Staff Nurse, explained: 

“It’s been exciting to be involved in trialling this new and innovative approach to supporting service users and I’m delighted it’s been so successful.

“Flo does not aim to replace our service, but to complement it. Having experienced it first hand, it really does achieve this aim. It’s particularly rewarding to work closely with service users and their families and carers and to see their knowledge and confidence around their care needs grow.”

Following the success of the trial, Flo is now being rolled out to more services in the Rochdale borough.  It is also being successfully being used in other boroughs, by Pennine Care’s community-based services.  This includes the Diabetes Service in Oldham, which uses it to support people with type two diabetes to manage their condition.

For more information please contact lisa.taylor@simple.uk.net