In 1995, Ellie Lindsay, a district nurse in Suffolk, became aware of evidence that social factors and isolation could significantly affect leg ulcer patients' response to treatment. This led Ellie to introduce the concept of community-based leg ulcer care which has grown into a network of evidence-based leg ulcer clinics that have subsequently won a number of awards. These clinics are known as Leg Clubs.
The Leg Club Model was conceived as a unique partnership between the district nursing team and the local community, in which patients are empowered, through a sense of ownership, to become stakeholders in their own treatment. Leg Clubs aim to provide leg ulcer management in a social environment, where patients (members) are treated collectively and the emphasis is on social interaction, participation, empathy and peer support where positive health beliefs are promoted. The Model impacts positively on healing and recurrence rates and helps isolated older people reintegrate into their communities.
The first Leg Club was established in 1995 in the village of Debenham, Suffolk. Clinics are held weekly in a community cottage, on an informal 'drop-in' basis, where patient contacts quickly grew to 1,200 per annum. There are now 14 Leg Clubs in the UK, with a further four being established and others planned.
Leg Clubs are not 'owned' by the health care provider but by the local community. The introduction of the Leg Club Model coincides with a time when one of the core themes of the Government's health care policy is the encouragement of patient empowerment. As well as dramatically improving patients' quality of life, the Leg Club Model has proved to be extremely cost-effective by saving direct and indirect travel costs, reducing need for the duplication of equipment, simplifying planning and administration and eliminating wasted home visits.
Leg Club video
This is a short video introducing the Lindsay Leg Club Foundation, and giving an insight into what happens within the Leg Clubs.