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Lewisham's lovely legs shortlisted for Nursing Times award

NHS Lewisham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)'s 'Lovely Legs' programme, which has increased healing rates for people with leg ulcers, has been nominated for a Nursing Times Award 2016.

Leg ulcers are long-lasting sores that can develop anywhere on the lower leg or foot. Untreated they can take years to heal and can be very painful, socially isolating and reduce quality of life for many patients. 

NHS Lewisham CCG was concerned about leg ulcer healing rates and commissioned an audit to better understand the extent of the problems for our patients. They used a social enterprise organisation to undertake the audit and work with NHS Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust  community services to redesign the care. Then they used the findings to deliver a bespoke specialist leg ulcer service, with dedicated and passionate staff delivering excellent care and the healing rate has improved dramatically.

A pilot has been running for the last six months in Sydenham and Downham area and this is showing significant impact in improving the leg ulcer healing rates for patients. In turn this reduced visits to A&E and hospital admissions and could make savings of up to £2million over four years. The CCG are exploring ways to provide the service across the whole borough. 

Alison Browne, Director of Quality, Nursing and Safeguarding at NHS Lewisham CCG said: "We are delighted with the positive impact the programme has had for our patients. Health professionals have really welcomed it and see the value. It's great to be acknowledged for the collaborative approach we have taken by working with the Trust and a social enterprise organisation."

The Nursing Times Awards ceremony takes place on 26 October at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London.