Compendium of Best Practice for Leg Club Service Delivery
Sylvie Hampton, MSc, RGN, Wound Care Consultant, Deborah Glover, BSc, RGN, Independent Editor
Acknowledgement: Roland Yenyi, Chair if LLCF Trustees for managing the project, Ellie Lindsay, Founder and Lifetime President, Lindsay Leg Club Foundation for driving the concept
LLCF – The Industry Partner View
I believe each leg club has its own unique qualities that are adapted to suit the members and environment . Some are more open plan between the sitting area and the treatment area’s, while others separate them more to give the members a little more privacy. In rural areas they provide dial-a-ride taxis/buses for members to get to leg club when they otherwise may not be able to do so. Some clubs even bring in a physiotherapist to do short exercise sessions with members who want to get involved to improve circulation and mobility.
Obviously none of these things would be possible without the hard work of the Volunteers and Nurses who give their time and do a fantastic job at fundraising to support all of these things. Overall the most impactful observation for me is the overwhelming sense of community/family to each and every club. Most of the volunteers have at some point been or are still active members of the club, or are relatives of members. Even the District Nurses who retire come back as volunteers!!
Some of the members don’t necessarily have family nearby and will often spend most of their days alone, I believe that the Leg Clubs help to improve their social circumstances while also helping them to understand that they are not alone with their condition.
Finally as an Industry representative I feel extremely privileged to able to attend the leg clubs. I have always been made to feel extremely welcome and I have learnt great deal from the nurses but also from the members sharing their experiences with me.
In issue 3...
..we carried an article about Leg Clubs (https://pcnr.co.uk/articles/102/lindsay-leg-clubs) which outlined the work they undertake and the outcomes they have achieved. Recent studies suggest:
- in the UK, leg ulcers are half as likely to recur in Leg Club members as in the national average (with good concordance)
- Leg Clubs are a cost-effective alternative to traditional models of care
- Leg Clubs provide care in a non-medical setting which improves Member quality of life
- Leg Clubs improve the wellbeing of members
To further develop and disseminate this body of work, and to guide best practice in fledgling and established Leg Clubs, it was agreed to compile and publish a Compendium of Best Practice.
The Lindsay Leg Club Foundation applied for a Department of Health grant, which was awarded in September 2014. The project was undertaken by Sylvie Hampton and Deborah Glover, led by Roland Renyi, Chair of Trustees, Lindsay Leg Club Foundation.
What’s in it?
The Compendium is intended to provide guidance to Leg Club Volunteers, Nurses and Members involved with the running of Leg Clubs, and to other healthcare professionals and agencies which both liaise with and provide services to Leg Clubs and their Members.
It comprises 4 basic elements:
1. Statements of Best Practice, with qualifying comments
2. Examples of Best Practice from individual Leg Clubs
3. Frequently asked questions relating to setting up a Leg Club
4. References and Appendices
Statement of Best Practice
The statements of Best Practice were developed by Sylvie Hampton, an experienced wound care clinician, and were derived from observations of practice and service delivery as currently undertaken in the network of Leg Clubs. Statements are therefore not prescriptive; for example, there is no step-by-step guide to wound assessment, rather an outline of practices and approaches that help create a dynamic, clinically effective and fun Leg Club. They are based both on research and Leg Club Member, Volunteer and Nursing staff experience and feedback.
Practice examples and personal reflections from volunteers, members, nurses and Leg Club Industry Partner (LCIP) members who have had direct experience of good practice, appear throughout. They are personal in nature, reflecting their enthusiasm for the work that they are describing.
Based on the aims and objectives of the LLCs, the best practice statements relate to the main domains of Leg Club activity, namely:
- clinical Practice
- infection control
- data collection
- social factors
- working with ancillary services
This Compendium sets out clearly and simply the elements of best practice that go into treating leg ulceration within a social model of care from the perspectives of all involved, and is combined with some inspiring case histories from individual Leg Clubs.
The LLCF aims to use this information to develop a plan to improve the training and support which volunteers and nurses receive. This will ensure leg care practice and health outcomes are improved globally across the worldwide network of Leg Clubs and that knowledge is shared both within the Leg Club network and among the wound care community.
To obtain a copy please go to http://www.legclub.org
LLCF – The Member’s View
“Both my wife (Anita, a volunteer) and myself suffered from lymphoedema; Anita for three years, me for about one year. This condition is extremely debilitating and makes walking uncomfortable, painful; and potentially dangerous.
By good fortune we were referred to the Leg Club for treatment. The nursing team were happy, committed and specially trained in leg care. On my first visit I was offered coffee and biscuits (gratis!) – generally a pleasant, welcoming atmosphere. There was nothing cold or clinical about the experience and the ‘doctor’s waiting room’ feeling was noticeably absent!
After a few visits I looked forward to me Tuesday sessions and started to befriend other members, and importantly, my legs were beginning to heal. The LC at this time had a membership of 40-45; large premises became a necessity. Luckily, a newly refurbished very spacious hall became available, and the Club moved in, instantly giving the nurses a great deal more room, with plenty of space and a surplus for the needs of the Club Members and voluntary workers.
It was at this time that Anita and I realised that more volunteers were needed; we put our names forward and were privileged to be accepted at committee level, still doing our other jobs. Both of us were healed by this time, so we were able to ‘muck-in’ and socialise with Club Members. I feel that this is very important as it helps the members to regain some lost confidence, help combat loneliness and use mental and physical abilities to reintegrate into society, while promoting good health.
With its wonderful and magnetic atmosphere, the patients all seem to be friendly and interactive, with creative projects and regular walks available. It is not just a coincidence that those who don’t need medical attention still come on Tuesdays for the social life! I see new faces in the Club nearly every week. Isn’t that what we love to see? Truly amazing!! Such is the success of the Club, the head-count at our 1 year party was 250 or thereabouts.
I would like to emphasise that both the nursing staff and the volunteer crew have worked in harmony to get the Club to the high profile that it now enjoys. Long may this be the case.
Finally, I can now walk comfortably again in shoes that are not three sizes too big!