Key messages

  • Skin integrity can affect the quality of life of older Victorians.
  • The Strengthening Wound Management strategy aims to help older Victorians and staff caring for older people to better manage chronic wounds.
  • The strategy targets people living at home and in (high level) public sector residential aged care services.

The Strengthening Wound Management Practice Strategy aims to help older people and staff caring for older people to improve wound management practice. Complications from chronic and complex wounds can significantly reduce the quality of life for many older Victorians.

The strategy also aims to improve the wound management practices of service providers. Treating chronic and complex wounds places a considerable burden on the Victorian health care system.

This strategy targets older people living at home and in public sector residential aged care services (PSRACS).

Regional Wound Management Clinical Nurses support the implementation of this strategy.

Rural wound management clinical nurse consultants

Rural wound management clinical nurse consultants target Victorians in rural areas who receive district nursing and bush nursing services or who live in high level care PSRACS. Expert wound management clinical nurse consultants provide advice on managing chronic and complex wounds. They also build staff capacity by mentoring, offering onsite support and delivering specialist training. Each rural region has the equivalent of one or more full time positions. This group is known as Regional Wounds Victoria.

The 2012-13 Regional wound management clinical nurse consultant initiative evaluation conducted by Campbell Research and Consulting showed the initiative had positive results.

Connected Wound Care project

The Connected Wound Care project is a successful collaboration between the regional Wounds Victoria Clinical Nurse Consultants, the Royal District Nursing Service and the department.

The project developed educational and information resources to assist nurses and the people they care for in preventing and managing wounds. The aim of these materials was targeted to support a more consistent and quality wound care practice for nurses working in a persons’ home and publically funded residential facility.

The educational and information resources to help nurses and older Victorians prevent and manage wounds are:

  • Connected Wound Care How to use booklet
  • three health care guides for nurses, covering:
    • nutrition for people with wounds
    • assessing and management skin tears
    • care of wound equipment and dressing field
  • six health care guides for people receiving care, covering
  • o activity and healing for venous leg wounds o care of high risk feet o footwear for high risk feet o healthy eating for healing o skin care o care of compression garments.
  • a diabetes foot resource kit for rural/regional, to help nursing staff educate older Victorians to care for their feet and prevent future problems
  • promotional posters.

Electronic versions of the resources are available from Grampians Region Health Collaborative.