The theory-practice gap in wound care: effective ways of embedding your learning into clinical practice
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Sarah Gardner, 'The theory-practice gap in wound care: effective ways of embedding your learning into clinical practice' Wound Care Today (February 2019)
It has been suggested that there are approximately 2.2 million patients in the UK with a chronic wound (Guest et al, 2016). The cost of managing these wounds and associated comorbidities is approximately £5.3 billion (Guest et al, 2015), with this figure predicted to increase. There may be a number of reasons why the NHS is faced with an increasing wound care management burden, with a contributing factor being the clinical competence of nurses caring for these patients. The NHS is facing a significant staffing problem, with recruitment and retention across England being a challenge for many healthcare trusts. This depleted workforce is bound to have a knock-on effect in terms of access to nurse training, professional development and clinical support. More recently, there has been an increase in skill mix introduced into nursing teams, with healthcare assistants, assistant practitioners and nursing associates now forming a significant percentage of the workforce (NHS England, 2013).