Wound Care Partnership highly commended at national awards

A collaborative effort by local NHS providers and organisations in South Yorkshire, known as the Doncaster Wound Care Alliance, was last week (16 November) named runner-up gaining high commendation for the Health Service Journal’s (HSJ) Integrated Care Initiative of the Year Award.

Comprising of healthcare professionals from Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH), NHS South Yorkshire, Primary Care Doncaster, Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDASH), and FCMS Doncaster, the Doncaster Wound Care Alliance emerged in 2022 as a response to disparities in wound care services across the borough.

In an effort to address these challenges, colleagues across Doncaster and the wider region have collaborated to develop an integrated model for wound care delivery, which includes a comprehensive educational programme spanning acute (hospital), community, and primary care settings (GP practices). The partnership ultimately provides a consistent model of care, fosters collaboration between constituent members, and ensures that patient need is put above all else.

The alliance’s impact has already yielded remarkable outcomes and has led to a 16% increase in appropriate new referrals to the Skin Integrity Complex Wound Clinic at Doncaster Royal Infirmary, reducing follow-ups by 32% and overall activity by 28%, signalling a shift towards more effective community-based wound care management.

Additionally, communication between teams has significantly improved with the introduction of electronic referral forms, ensuring essential wound care information is seamlessly transmitted to receiving providers. This change has enabled more timely and coordinated care transitions.

Finally, new and shared education sessions have facilitated an impressive 29% increase in overall knowledge of wound care among healthcare providers, leading to better care. This enhanced knowledge has driven improvements in clinical pathways and formularies, aligning care with national recommendations, with healing rates post-discharge surging by 89%, surpassing the national average by 42%.

Karen Jessop, Chief Nurse at DBTH, said: “I want to say a huge congratulations to the Doncaster Wound Care Alliance team for being named the HSJ’s Integrated Care Initiative of the Year Award runner-up. Your collaborative efforts and commitment to improving wound care have not only earned this recognition but, more importantly, have led to significant positive impact to the care of our patients. I am proud of each member’s dedication to do the very best for the people we serve in the borough.”

The Skin Integrity Team at DBTH specialises in the prevention and treatment of wounds – aiding in the healing process as well as preventing deterioration such as infection. The 10-strong team, work with colleagues throughout Doncaster Royal Infirmary, Bassetlaw Hospital and Montagu Hospital, as well as supporting Doncaster community, providing invaluable insight, expertise and education in providing the very best care for people at risk of and living with wounds.

Cathy Winfield MBE, Chief Nurse at NHS South Yorkshire, said: “I am incredibly proud of the Doncaster Wound Care Alliance for their dedication to transforming wound care services for local people. This recognition is a testament to their collaborative efforts in ensuring that every patient receives the right care, in the right place, and at the right time.

The HSJ Awards received a record-breaking 1456 entries this year, with 223 projects and individuals making it to the final ceremony, which took place in London on the evening of 16 November.