Journal articlesImproving our skills and adapting to work in the modern health service

Improving our skills and adapting to work in the modern health service

01/06/09 | Service delivery | John Timmons

Recent events in parliament regarding expenses and resignations have somewhat overshadowed what is a critical time for the NHS. With experts predicting a large funding deficit in the NHS in the coming years, there is a feeling of uncertainty among staff and patient groups. Until recently, wound care and tissue viability have not been high priorities with respect to NHS targets, however, recent initiatives which have led to large scale purchasing and contracts for wound dressing products have put wound care in the spotlight. The increase in media and government attention to healthcare associated infection (HAI) has also raised the profile of wound care across the UK. Traditional monitoring of surgical site infection has highlighted the need for good infection and prevention control, however, importantly, chronic wound audit has shown the presence of resistant organisms in patients with wound infection (Health Protection Scotland [HPS], 2007). The link between tissue viability, wound care and soft tissue infection is one which is both essential and natural. However, there appears to be an emphasis on the role of infection control specialists (and rightly so), and not so much attention is being paid to the role of the tissue viability specialist.