The Development of a National Wound Healing Centre

Until fairly recently interest in this important clinical subject has been limited. Changing demographics in Western population, increasing prevalence of chronic disease and the complexity of treating patients with multiple medical/surgical problems is ever increasing.  This coupled with an increased awareness of the cost of treating patients with wounds in many healthcare systems, is driving increased focus in this area. The development of an academic group focussed on wound healing in 1991, was faced with an increasing number and diversity of patients with wound healing problems. The increasing numbers of patients with diverse clinical problems led the group to believe that academic and clinical work is required in this subject, whilst at the same time being self-funded.  This work continued to develop over a number of years. 

In 2014 the group was successful in obtaining funding from the Welsh Government to set up the Welsh Wound Innovation Centre. Since its creation we have identified, in a country with a population of 3 million individuals, in 1 year £330 million or 6% of NHS spend is spent on wounds in the community.  In a National survey, of all hospital inpatients, 30% of inpatients have a wound of one sort or another.  We have a prevalence of pressure ulceration of 8.9%.  We have also managed to obtain Government support to insist that all category 3 and 4 pressure ulcers are now seen as notifiable diseases.  We have also obtained Government support to make compulsory online education for all clinical staff in the area of wound healing in Wales. 

We are providing an increasing complex network of clinical services where the appropriate patient is seen by clinicians with appropriate levels of knowledge and expertise, to reduce inefficiency within the healthcare system.  Interestingly we have also demonstrated our ability to act as a magnet for inward investment in the country because we have already exceeded the number of jobs we were asked to create by
the government by the end of year 4 of our operation and by the 2nd year of it being in place.  Our experience is an example of one method by which the profile of this subject and the coordination of care can be improved.   

This Lecture is Presented by: Keith Harding, U.K.