Tissue viability services in mid and south Essex are provided by Provide Health (Provide) for mid Essex, Essex Partnership University Trust (EPUT) for south-east Essex, and North East London Foundation Trust (NELFT) for Basildon, Brentwood, and Thurrock. Together, they form the Mid and South Essex Community Collaborative (MSECC) Tissue Viability team.
The Mid Essex Tissue Viability team, operating mainly in Chelmsford, Braintree, and Maldon, faced challenges due to its small size, leading to difficulties in providing long-term care for patients with chronic wounds. To address this, the different teams across the MSECC worked together to learn how best to deliver care, ensuring quality and equity across our areas. From this learning within the MSECC the team in mid Essex piloted an expanded service delivered by district nurses, showing promising results.
To ensure consistent community services, the team established dedicated ambulatory clinics in Maldon and Braintree. These clinics aim to see patients within two weeks of referral, aligning with the National Wound Care Strategy recommendations. Service user feedback plays a crucial role in shaping the clinic, with random calls being made to gather insights and improve services.
Andrea McDonald, Clinical Lead for Tissue Viability in mid Essex was awarded a Cavell Star Award for her work as a leading wound care nurse.
Plans are underway to open an ambulatory clinic in Chelmsford for local accessibility. Additionally, the team is exploring a smartphone app solution for ongoing quality of life assessments. Nurses review patients' wounds every four weeks, and the app captures key details about their well-being, aiming to demonstrate the impact of treatments on patients' quality of life.
The app will be piloted with ambulatory clinic users before potential expansion to other community services across mid and south Essex. This initiative reflects a commitment to improving patient care and outcomes in the region.