DURING the COVID-19 pandemic, pharmacists have increasingly played a key role as being the first point of contact for people with wounds, both chronic and acute. As the burden of wound care increases through the ageing population and with many people being reluctant to go into the hospital or primary care setting, this key role will continue to develop and grow.
Now, a multidisciplinary group of experts, including a team from the University of Huddersfield's Institute of Skin Integrity and Infection Prevention (ISIaIP), have been working in collaboration with Wounds UK, a major international healthcare communications business with a global reach in wound management, to create a 'Consensus Document' that will provide guidance and assist pharmacy teams to manage wounds and select appropriate dressings with confidence.
The document entitled 'Wound Care and Dressing Selection for Pharmacy Teams' addresses the current lack of written information available about the role, responsibilities and skills of the pharmacist in wound management.
The 'Consensus Document' will also inform pharmacy colleagues about the underpinning principles of best practice and the latest evidence base in wound care and dressing selection, and to educate other clinicians about the role that pharmacy teams play in wound care.
"As always, the overall aim is to improve clinical outcomes for the patient," said Professor Barbara Conway, Head of the University's Department of Pharmacy. "It is well established that the management of wounds is best practised by an organised multidisciplinary team that can offer support to the individual. The pharmacist's role within that team is invaluable and requires an integrated approach with wound care colleagues," she added.
The multidisciplinary group of experts which includes pharmacy and nursing colleagues, met online in October 2020 to discuss the roles and responsibilities of pharmacy teams in wound care and dressing selection. From these discussions the basis of the 'Consensus Document' was formed and is available to download now via the Wounds UK website.