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A recent research study has estimated that the annual cost of managing wounds in the NHS and associated comorbidities is £5.3 billion. This is comparable to the £5 billion spent on managing obesity .

The NHS is beginning to appreciate the implications of wounds. Treating wounds more effectively could reduce costs, improve outcomes for patients and hopefully reduce the pressure and stress on the clinicians who treat patients with leg ulcers. The NHS also has to save £20 billion pounds by 2020 as part of its Five Year Forward View.

So how can self-care and hosiery kits help?

The use of Activa and ActiLymph kits can be used as an alternative to bandages to heal venous leg ulcers. An RCT** has shown that hosiery kits are as effective at healing ulcers as bandages and were associated with a lower recurrence rate post-healing. Hosiery kits are not bulky so normal shoes can be worn – a real benefit for patients.

Often patients or their carers can apply them themselves. The Activa and Actilymph hosiery kits contain 2 stockings in the box. There is a silky liner worn underneath which has 10 mmHg of compression, so it is very easy to apply. The higher compression stocking then glides easily over the top.

Various leg ulcer clinics around the UK are adopting the Leg Ulcer Treatment Pathway recommended in the Best Practice Statement for the holistic management of VLUs and when implementing this are using Activa and ActiLymph hosiery kits first line. Time to healing has reduced, waiting lists shortened and more time can be given to patients with complex ulceration. There are many fantastic HCAs who can apply kits on patients and show able patients how to do it. Practice Nurses also find Activa and ActiLymph hosiery kits can be applied within a limited appointment time.

*Guest et al. (2015)
** VenUS 4

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