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Skin Health Programme. Programme aims to create a national excellence for skin health care.

How our innovative approach is helping improve care for skin breakdown sufferers.

Skin breakdown is a significant problem in today’s health service. Traditionally, patients with different forms of skin breakdown have been treated in various services. The effectiveness of management often depends upon which specialist practitioner they are referred to, and this is usually governed by which service is available in their geographical area. This can result in fragmentation of care with groups of patients being overlooked, which indicates a need to develop integrated services for these patients.

Another factor is that many patients who require wound care often have an added social component to their personal situation. This is often due to a loss of mobility, which leads to increasing isolation, which can manifest itself as loneliness and increased dependency.

The need for dual care represents an opportunity to develop a service that is designed to manage this challenge effectively. It is generally accepted that when services are well planned this leads to enhanced clinical effectiveness as well as increased cost effectiveness. This is pivotal to the development of a service model, which will focus on the delivery of care that fulfils the health and social care needs of patients through the joint commissioning process.

In September 2009, the North East Lincolnshire Care Trust Plus commissioned Unique Improvements – an organisation working in Grimsby – to develop an innovative approach to addressing the issue of improving skin breakdown in the area.

Unique Improvement’s approach utilised a tried and tested model to engage with the communities and develop effective solutions. The programme is planned to deliver a metrics set for measurement, a quality standard for care and a community-led awareness programme.

Whilst it is still early days for the programme, the ultimate goal is to develop a Centre of Excellence in North East Lincolnshire for Skin Care.

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