The need for a National Service Framework for leg ulcers.
Bulbulia RA., Poskitt KR.
Leg ulcers are common and costly to treat, and the quality of care provided to patients with this condition varies widely across the UK. The introduction of specialized community-based leg ulcer clinics in Gloucestershire has been associated with increased ulcer healing rates and decreased rates of ulcer recurrence, but this model of care has not been widely replicated. One way of ending this 'postcode lottery' is to produce a National Service Framework for leg ulcers, with the aim of delivering high-quality evidence-based care via such clinics under the supervision of local consultant vascular surgeons. Existing National Service Frameworks cover a range of common conditions that are, like leg ulceration, associated with significant morbidity, disability and resource use. These documents aim to raise quality and decrease regional variations in health care across the National Health Service, and leg ulceration fulfils all the necessary criteria for inclusion in a National Service Framework. Centrally defined standards of care for patients with leg ulceration, and the reorganization and restructuring of local services to allow the accurate assessment and treatment of such patients are required. Without a National Service Framework to drive up the quality of care across the country, the treatment of patients with leg ulcers will remain suboptimal for the majority of those who suffer from this common and debilitating condition.