A coalition of eight healthcare organisations is undertaking a united stand to ensure lower leg and foot conditions receive the urgent attention they need. Inspired by the “Stop the Pressure” campaign, the Legs Matter campaign will urge patients and clinicians to “Stand up for legs” so that lower leg and foot conditions receive the same level of awareness as pressure ulcers.
The coalition, made up of both charitable and not-for-profit organisations is led by the Tissue Viability Society (TVS) and first joined forces in November 2016. They decided to pool their knowledge and resources to work together collaboratively in developing and delivering a campaign to promote good quality lower leg care in the UK.
Leg and foot ulcers and leg oedema
Leg and foot ulcers and leg oedema are common, debilitating and costly conditions. Leg ulcers are actually at least four times more prevalent than pressure ulcers, yet there is a disproportionate lack of awareness amongst the public of lower leg and foot conditions and the importance of seeking out the right advice and treatment in a timely manner.
In addition, healthcare professionals such as GPs, practice and community nurses, nursing home nurses and nurses working in hospitals are often unfamiliar with current, appropriate prevention and treatment options.
Urgo Foundation grant
With funding it has received from the Urgo Foundation, the coalition is now able to push ahead with “Stand up for legs” to educate patients and carers to seek appropriate help and to educate healthcare professionals helping them to recognise early stage disease and provide high quality care. The campaign’s message is a positive one: Most leg and foot problems can be improved given the right care, especially if such problems are addressed early.
The campaign will also be supported by a website with both a help section for people with leg problems and one for clinicians who are caring for people with lower leg problems. The team will be testing the website in late 2017, with the aim of launching the campaign fully at the TVS conference in April 2018.
Dr Una Adderley, Lecturer in Community Nursing at the University of Leeds and TVS Trustee, said: “We are delighted to receive this funding from the Urgo Foundation to develop a campaign and website that will raise awareness of leg and foot problems and help people get the care and support they need. Our aim is to help doctors and nurses understand what these patients need and at the same time raise this issue as a commissioning priority for those who organise healthcare services.”
About the author
Alison Hopkins is CEO of Accelerate, a social enterprise specialising in wound and lymphoedema management. Alison remains a clinical expert in community focussed Tissue Viability, having started out as a District Nurse.
The original article featured on the Accelerate website