Wound Management

Update on Guidelines for Wound Management in Northern Ireland 

  • Update on Wound Management Guidelines - July 2004 (PDF 42 KB)

To view any of the Wound Management Guidelines click on the links below.

  • Guidelines on the General Principles of Caring for Patients with Wounds (PDF 281 KB)
  • Guidelines for the Assessment and Management of Leg Ulceration (PDF 313 KB)
  • Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Pressure Sores (PDF 1141 KB)
  • Guidelines for the Management of the Diabetic Foot (PDF 2241 KB)

Making a Difference

Wounds such as pressure sores, leg ulcers and other chronic wounds cause pain and discomfort to many people in Northern Ireland. Management of wounds requires considerable resources in terms of treatment products and staff time. It has been recognised for some time that, despite the large volume of information available, there is a marked variation in treatment in all sectors of the Health and Social Services. There are a number of reasons for the variation in practice, however it is recognised that a lack of basic education in wound management for health and social care professionals is a major factor.

These guidelines have been developed by a multi professional group convened by CREST. They are intended for use by a wide range of health and social care professionals. They have been developed using recognised processes of guideline development. Recommendations are based on research evidence where this is available and are graded according to the strength of the evidence. Where it has not been possible to base the guidelines on strong research evidence, expert opinion has been sought.

Sources of Evidence that have been assessed during the development of these guidelines include: Medline, Cochrane, CINAHL Effective Health Care Bulletins and information from organisations such as the Tissue Viablity Association.

The Guidelines will be disseminated in a two stage process to a wide range of stakeholders including: Health and Social Service boards and trusts, key professionals within primary and secondary care including general practitioners, nurses, pharmacists and professionals allied to medicine, educational consortia, professional bodies and other relevant agencies such as the Registration and Inspection Units, Health and Social Services Councils, the Tissue Viability Association and the Private and Voluntary Sectors.

Nominated persons will be responsible for ensuring the facilitation of the implementation of the guidelines in clinical settings. It is important that during implementation in Northern Ireland, the lessons learned from national projects are developed upon.

Education of health and social care professionals at all levels involved in wound management is vital. CREST has made the following recommendations:

  • staff involved in wound care should have access to a tissue viability professional;
  • key health and social care professionals involved in the management of wounds should receive relevant education and training;
  • it is recommended that educational consortia offering wound care courses liaise with clinical experts in wound care during course development. These professionals should also be involved in the delivery of courses where appropriate;
  • training on the principles of wound management should be incorporated into all undergraduate education for health and social care professionals;
  • health and social professionals should have access to information on best practice as it evolves.

The guidelines will be reviewed by CREST and members of the working group during the year 2001.

To facilitate the dissemination, implementation and evaluation of the CREST Wound Management Guidelines, an implementation strategy will be put in place.

We look forward to having made a difference to the health and social wellbeing of a number of people with wounds in Northern Ireland.

Mrs Mary Waddell 
Chairman of CREST Wound Management Group

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