Wounds don’t often kill, but for more than two million people each year they can make life very miserable indeed.

The most persistent, uncomfortable and severe wounds – typically leg or pressure ulcers - can result in full thickness skin loss that exposes bones, tendons or muscles. A typical wound oozes fluid, which can smell and leak onto clothes and furniture, despite being dressed and wrapped in bandages. This can dictate your choice of clothing, footwear and activities – perhaps, for months. With some wounds, it is impossible to predict when – or, even, if – they will heal. With others, you might always be at risk of the wound coming back.

Treating a wound requires a lot of specialist help – and that doesn’t come cheap; estimates suggest that the cost of treating wounds in the UK each year runs into billions of pounds, taking up tens of millions of NHS appointments with GPs, Practice Nurses and District Nurses.

For some patients in the UK with serious wounds, clinical care is available in the form of a specialist Tissue Viability Nurse, who can disseminate expert care, backed up by clinical guidelines devised by the very best in this field.  But specialist expertise is not available to all across Europe and beyond, nor is it universally acknowledged that the prevention and treatment of wounds can be effectively supported by specialist care products. EWMA is working towards establishing minimum standards for Multidisciplinary Teams, Education and Training across Europe.

I believe that having the right care at the right time, delivered in the right way by the right care professional, can make a huge difference:  for an NHS in financial difficulties, getting care right will mean improved prevention or earlier intervention - and significant savings. For the person with the wound, education and training can mean the difference between losing – or keeping - a limb. This campaign aims to play a key role in making this happen.