Fears for wound care patients after COVID pandemic
- 88% of nurses fear that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on the outcomes of those living with a wound
- Research highlights that wound care patients are having mixed experiences of services across the country as a result of COVID-19 restrictions on care provision
- New report calls for collaborative approach between nurses and patients to rebuild wound care post-pandemic and support the 3.8 million people living with a chronic wound
Around 28% of patients are managing their own wounds due to the pandemic, according to a new report. One in fifty people in Britain – around 3.8 million - currently rely on wound care services, but variation in standards means patients are having mixed experiences of care across the country. The new report, published today, has been jointly produced by The Patients Association and Mölnlycke; it calls for action to ensure people living with a chronic wound are not forgotten by healthcare leaders in the service recovery, and that both patients and nurses are involved in discussions about wound care service redesign post-pandemic.
The report highlights the impact that chronic wounds can have on patients, both physically and mentally. It also reveals how many patients were forced to manage their own wounds throughout the pandemic, finding that while some had a level of confidence in doing this, a large proportion (30%) did not.
Commenting on the report, Rachel Power, Chief Executive of The Patients Association said:
“This report shows the impact the pandemic is having on patients who live with a chronic wound and need wound care services to stay well and active. In England, many of these patients have had to manage their own care or access support remotely. The report makes it clear that many found managing on their own hard.
“The brighter news is that some patients found they liked being in control of their own wound care, while still having the remote support of nurses. The report shows how important it is for healthcare professionals to work in partnership with patients to understand their needs. Practising patient partnership and shared decision making are the way to make wound care work for the 3.8 million people living with a chronic wound.”
The majority (88%) of nurses fear that COVID-19 has had a negative impact on wound care services as they struggle to cope with the pressures of the pandemic, such as staff being redeployed to other services. Eight out of ten nurses also expressed concern about the delays to seeing patients that COVID-19 has caused, which they worry are affecting patient outcomes.
Sarah Gardner, Independent Tissue Viability Consultant, WoundMatters Ltd and Trustee of the Society of Tissue Viability:
“As we recover from the pandemic and consider how wound care services should be designed, we shouldn’t just assume that changes made in the middle of a crisis will remain suitable at all other times. Instead, we should take time to reflect on what worked well and not so well, have a conversation around what patients actually need, and then redesign services that are based on innovation, collaboration and patient partnership.”
The report calls for action to drive change in a way that works best for patients and staff, by listening to their experiences of the pandemic to bring positive innovation to wound care services.
Oliver Law, Business Director, Wound Care and UK&I General Manager at Mölnlycke said:
“Going back to business as usual is just not an option – wound care services were under strain before the pandemic hit. It is vital that as services rebuild in the wake of the pandemic that the voice of both patients and HCPs is heard – and Mölnlycke are committed to supporting this every step of the way.”
The report is the first part of a Mölnlycke project aimed at improving the provision of wound care services for both patients and those delivering care.
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Notes to editors
One in 50 people in the UK live with a chronic wound that may cause pain, restrict their daily life, and affect their mental health.2
This report has been jointly produced by Mölnlycke and The Patients Association to provide an outline of what state wound care services had reached in England by mid-2021. It is based on in depth case studies, a survey of 143 patients with a chronic wound, and a survey of 251 wound care nurses and directors of nursing. Survey work was undertaken in summer 2021.
The report concludes with several questions it hopes will lead to debate on how to redesign wound care services:
- What are the drivers of patient need for wound care services, and how can they be managed or addressed?
- What is the real extent of the change that wound care services faced during the pandemic, and what innovations have or haven’t worked?
- What approaches will work well in developing pathways for wound care in the reformed and recovering NHS?
- How can patients best be involved, both in redeveloping services and in making decisions about their care choices?
About the Patients’ Association
The Patient’s Association is an independent patient charity campaigning for improvements in health and social care for patients. Uniquely for a charity with a remit covering all health and care issues, we work with patients directly: they are our members and supporters, and also the people who benefit from our help and advice services. We speak to government, the NHS and other stakeholders about patients' priorities and concerns, to ensure the patient voice is heard and acted upon.
Molnlycke are a world-leading medical products and solutions company. We seek to advance performance in healthcare by improving clinical and health economic outcomes. Our core business is in four areas: Wound Care, Operating Room Solutions, Gloves and Antiseptics. Our goal is to equip everyone in healthcare – from clinicians to procurement managers – to perform at their best. We do it through innovation, education and building strong and lasting relationships with our customers.
Mölnlycke employs around 8,000 people. The company headquarters are in Gothenburg, Sweden and we operate in more than 100 countries worldwide. Since 2007, the company is part of Investor AB, an engaged owner of high-quality, global companies which was founded by the Wallenberg family in 1916. For more information, please visit www.molnlycke.co.uk.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Izzy Duddy, Lexington
T: 07534 160978
 The Patients Association. 2021. Chronic Wound Care Survey - Report on Findings. On file.
 Opinion Matters. 2020. Molnlycke Health Care Limited – Wound Care Patient Research. On file.
 Data from 2021 survey (question 15) conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Molnlycke Wound Care