The Leg Club Approach: aims & objectives

 Aims

  • To deliver research based wound management care in a friendly, non-threatening social environment.
  • Provide an environment for staff development and a teaching resource for research based wound management.
  • Provide continuity of care and a co-ordinated approach to its delivery.
  • Adopt a simple flexible ‘drop in’ approach that encourages attendance for information and advice, facilitating early diagnosis and education.
  • Minimise recurrence by systematic post-monitoring and ‘well leg’ checks.
  • Achieve compliance to treatment through informed beliefs and modified behaviour. 
 

Objectives

  • To empower patients to become stakeholders in their own treatment, promoting sense of ownership and involvement.
  • Meet the social needs of isolated patients by providing a mechanism for social interaction, empathy and peer support.
  • Rebuild patient’s self-esteem and self-respect by de-stigmatising their condition.
  • Facilitate an informal support network.
  • Provide an informal forum for health promotion and education. 

Benefits

Patient Benefits

The value of the ‘club’ concept is evident in the happy, welcoming, uninhibited atmosphere that characterises the clinic. An ethnographic study of patients’ views identified positive attitudes and a strong sense of ownership in ‘their’ club. Non-compliance to treatment has been virtually eliminated and evidence of greater healing rates has been illustrated through many patients whose long-standing ulcers have healed or greatly improved as a direct result of this change in approach. Patients’ willingness to attend for systematic ‘well leg’ checks and ongoing health education has dramatically reduced the incidence of recurrence.
 

Patient's Comments

  • Enthusiasm for the friendly, welcoming environment;
  • Motivation to attend for treatment;
  • A positive attitude to the management of their care and acceptance of the importance of compliance;
  • Belief in the efficacy of treatment through improved knowledge and understanding;
  • Comradeship, emapathy and support;
  • A sense of ownership in 'their' club. 
 

Medical


The Leg Club promotes a positive attitude to treatment, enhancing motivation and compliance.

"Without doubt I would still be rubbing ointments into it, if I hadn't come"

"Some of the old people look forward to it. Well they must do, they get there so early some of them can't wait for the doors to open"

"I find it very helpful because some of them have got worse legs than you, and you see the treatment they are having and how it's going to work for you"
 

Social


Patients see the Leg Club as an opportunity for social interaction, empathy and peer support.

"I think going to the clinic and meeting other people is a good thing because it makes you realise you are not on your own"

"I know I am still going to have quite a bit of pain, but when I am with other people I can forget about myself. That does me quite a lot of good just being able to get away from my own misery"


Psychological


Empowering and educating patients has developed confidence and self-worth.

"Because everyone now has contributed something towards it, that is the important thing. It's not just another person doing something. People make suggestions which will be considered and taken up. Everyone gets involved"

"You can see other peoples' improvements. You can give encouragement by telling them how much better you are feeling. And all together it brings one out of oneself"
 

Health Care Team Benefits

  • saves direct and indirect travel costs (inefficient use of skilled resource time)
  • facilitates skill mix
  • reduces need for duplication of equipment
  • simplifies planning and administration
  • eliminates wasted visits (patient not at home, despite appointment system)
  • promotes teamworking and fosters good morale within the team
  • develops a consistent approach to care delivery
  • encourages reflective practice
  • provides an excellent forum for staff to participate in health promotion and education
  • recommended practical experience venue, providing wound care experience for pre and post-registration students