• The resource costs of wound care in Bradford and Airedale primary care trust in the UK

      Vowden, Kath; Vowden, Peter; Posnett, J. (2009)
      OBJECTIVE: To estimate the resource costs of providing wound care for the 488,000 catchment population of the Bradford and Airedale primary care trust (PCT). METHOD: A wound survey was carried out over a one-week period in March 2007 covering three hospitals in two acute trusts, district nurses, nursing homes and residential homes within the geographical area defined by the PCT. The survey included information on the frequency of dressing change, treatment time and district nurse travel time. The resource costs of wound care in the PCT were estimated by combining this information with representative costs for the UK National Health Service and information on dressing spend. RESULTS: Prevalence of patients with a wound was 3.55 per 1000 population. The majority of wounds were surgical/trauma (48%), leg/foot (28%) and pressure ulcers (21%). Prevalence of wounds among hospital inpatients was 30.7%. Of these, 11.6% were pressure ulcers, of which 66% were hospital-acquired. The attributable cost of wound care in 2006-2007 was pounds 9.89 million: pounds 2.03 million per 100,000 population and 1.44% of the local health-care budget. Costs included pounds 1.69 million spending on dressings, 45.4 full-time nurses (valued at pounds 3.076 million) and 60-61 acute hospital beds (valued at pounds 5.13 million). CONCLUSION: The cost of wound care is significant. The most important components are the costs of wound-related hospitalisation and the opportunity cost of nurse time. The 32% of patients treated in hospital accounted for 63% of total costs. Putting in place care pathways to avoid hospitalisation and avoiding the development of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers and other wound complications are important ways to reduce costs. DECLARATION OF INTEREST: John Posnett is an employee of Smith & Nephew.