Lead Nurse, Tissue Viability Society, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust Trustee
Leg and foot conditions including ulcers are being overlooked. Now a new campaign urges patients and clinicians to stand up for legs.
Lower legs and feet, often with ulcers and associated oedemas are frequently left untreated – and thousands of people are suffering as a result.
Two million people are treated annually for wounds, including over 700,000 leg ulcers.
“Leg and foot ulcers and leg oedema are common, debilitating and costly conditions,” says Jemell Geraghty, Lead Nurse, Tissue Viability at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust and Tissue Viability Society, UK (TVS) Trustee.
Public awareness and empowerment
“Leg ulcers are at least four times more prevalent than pressure ulcers, yet there is a lack of awareness among the public of lower leg and foot conditions and the importance of seeking out the right advice and treatment.”
Most leg and foot problems can be improved and indeed prevented given the right care, especially if addressed early.
“Treatment for leg and foot ulcers is a service resulting in unquantifiable suffering. Many patients feel hopeless about their condition.”
However, there is good news. The TVS is leading a group of organisations in the Legs Matter campaign, urging patients and clinicians to “Stand up for legs”.
“We aim to promote good quality lower leg and foot care in the UK. Aided by funds from the Urgo Foundation, we will be spreading awareness among patients, carers, clinicians, educational institutes, commissioners and politicians about the importance of seeking appropriate help for these conditions early on,” says Jemell.
“Most leg and foot problems can be improved and indeed prevented given the right care, especially if addressed early.”
The campaign will launch a website next April at the TVS Conference, Newcastle with advice for people with leg and foot problems, and for clinicians caring for them.