Quality of care report 2012/13

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Lower Leg Ulcer Survey / Primary

The Royal District Nursing Service started a research study, involving an education package called the Leg Ulcer Prevention Program, in Melbourne in 2010 to help people take better care of their venous leg ulcers. The program was found to have excellent outcomes.

Now a research study on the effectiveness of the leg ulcer prevention education program has been rolled out in Victorian regional areas, including to 18 clients at GV Health in the last year.

The prevention program encourages people to take a more active role in managing care of their venous leg ulcer/s and preventing recurrence of leg ulcers.

A 12-week study of each client, including six weeks of weekly education sessions, are held in which they learn:

  • what is a leg ulcer?
  • leg ulcer treatments
  • getting active
  • nutrition and hydration
  • looking after your skin
  • compression bandages and stockings and keeping your ulcer healed

Participants are given a free kit, including DVDs and booklets, to work through with the staff.

The Leg Ulcer Prevention Program leaders at GV Health Home Nursing  Services have found that as a result of participating in this program, patients have a greater understanding of the reasons that compression bandages and stockings are needed. They are then happier about using compression as part of their treatment. Thus, venous leg ulcers are healing faster and with less likelihood of recurrence.

The education sessions not only promote proactive care for venous leg ulcers, but also provide patients with greater awareness of how to better care for their skin and overall general health.