If a wound is hard-to-heal (chronic or ulcer), health professionals and services with advanced wound management skills are available.
The Australian Wound Management Association (AWMA) estimates that approximately 400,000 Australians currently live with a hard-to-heal (chronic or ulcer) wound. A hard-to-heal wound can bring considerable costs related to wound dressings, visits to health professionals and other treatments. Additionally, a hard-to-heal wound can cause, pain, anxiety, frustration and isolation.
Not all health professionals have specialist training in managing hard-to-heal wounds. However, there are specialist clinics and health professionals throughout Australia who are skilled in treating people living with hard-to-heal wounds.
Wound healing is complex and influenced by many factors. But, in some cases, such as for venous leg ulcers, there are known treatments that can greatly assist with healing.
So, if you, or someone you know has a hard-to-heal wound – Get an expert!
Click on your state or territory for more information
The 318th La Trobe University podcast interview is with Bill McGuiness, head of Nursing and Midwifery at La Trobe University.
Article from the 'Eastern Shore Sun' 13 Nov 2013
AWMA supports COTA’s A New Deal for Older Australians
The Australian Wound Management Association has given its strong support to the Federal Election platform A New Deal for Older Australians released by the older Australians lobby group COTA on 13 August 2013.
The COTA platform can be viewed at www.cota.org.au/australia/Achieving/fep.aspx
It was developed after more than 620 people across Australia took part in an Election Panel survey to help COTA Australia shape what it seeks from all political parties at the Federal election.
“The COTA survey identified ‘access to quality health services' as the most important issue affecting older Australians, with 72 per cent of respondents putting it in their top five issues,” AWMA national president Dr Bill McGuiness said.
“For some time we have been highlighting the prevalence of lower leg ulcers in the older population, along with the difficulty so many patients have in affording the compression bandages and stockings needed to manage this chronic condition.
“This is a major equity issue for our patients, and a source of great frustration for our members who provide the clinical care. People who can’t afford best-practice care are often missing out, meaning their leg ulcers take much longer than necessary to heal.
“Access to venous leg ulcer management is one of a number of areas where older people have difficulty in accessing quality health services.
“Highlighting such shortcomings is of crucial importance, and we congratulate COTA for their thorough and well-targeted campaign to gain the attention and support of our political leaders.”
Since the release of a major report, “An Economic Evaluation of Compression Therapy for Venous leg Ulcers”, commissioned from the KPMG consultancy, AWMA has been advising government to consider introducing a subsidy scheme to improve access to compression therapy.
Without it, wounds take much longer to heal, causing patients considerable discomfort, the need for frequent medical appointments, much personal embarrassment and social isolation. All of these factors have a disproportionate impact on the elderly, many of whom are pensioners of limited means.
Wound care pioneer’s visit a boon for patients
Compression therapy is not a crepe bandage pulled tight
By Jan Rice
View the article: Click here (Page 32)
AWMA representative Ann Marie Dunk presenting the Senate petition on the need for subsidising compression therapy items to Senator Dean Smith in Canberra on 13 May 2013.
Parliament asked to support best-practice wound care
The Australian Wound Management Association welcomed the Federal Government’s decision to provide $0.3M to fund a scoping study and cost benefit analysis of options to better address chronic wound management for Senior Australians.
The funding was announced in the Federal Budget 2013-14, handed down on 14 May, and forms part of the ‘Supporting Senior Australians’ package.
“AWMA is delighted that the Government has recognised the need to improve chronic wound management for Senior Australians,” National President, Dr Bill McGuiness, said. “We feel confident that the scoping study and related analysis will further confirm the clinical and economic benefits of a wider access to best-practice care. It is highly likely that a key part of the recommended regime will be subsidies for compression therapy items such as bandages and stockings for patients with venous leg ulcers.
“The need for subsidisation has been a key factor in our discussions with Government over the past year, and we look forward to assisting the coordinators of this study in any way they feel appropriate.”
Dr McGuiness called the scoping study a “very positive stepping stone on the path to ensuring best-practice management for every Australian experiencing a chronic wound.”
Around 300,000 Australians, mostly elderly and on pensions, suffer lower leg ulcers requiring regular care. These wounds are not for life – they should heal within 12 weeks when managed with compression bandaging. However, government subsidies are seldom available for this best-practice care. This means many people are out of pocket, or miss out on treatment they cannot afford. The Australian Wound Management Association is working with its 3,000 nurses, doctors and allied health members to bring about equity of care and improve quality of life.
Promotional Pack for Health Professionals click here
Better access to compression therapy could save $166M p.a.
The fifth annual Wound Awareness Week (18-22 March 2013) begins with a new report showing millions of health budget dollars and immense personal suffering would be saved through better access to compression therapy for leg ulcer patients.
|ABC radio discussion of Compression therapy featuring Dr Sue Page|
A briefing paper
This document is to provide anyone with an interest in approaching politicians regarding wound care with a list of key talking points and a guide as to how best approach the meeting.
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