"leg ulcer healed in 5 weeks due to a referral to the Willows"

About: Beckenham Beacon Urgent Care Centre Bromley Healthcare / Leg Ulcer Assessment and Management Service Princess Royal University Hospital (Orpington)

(as the patient),

I am a 66 year old builder, while taking up some old paving slabs, one slipped and caused a cut on my left leg, this was a monday. A few days later it began to hurt, I thought it was infected. I went to the Beckenham beacon hospital on the friday to get it checked out, The doctor there said that it was seriously infected and put a plaster on it, I asked about antibiotics, she said see your GP.

I saw my GP on the following monday, He gave me antibiotics and told me to come back in a week, the cut now had developed into an ulcer. My GP took a swab and gave me a stronger antibiotic. Before the end of that week My GP called me to say that the infection was too serious for him to deal with, and that I would need to go to the ambulatory clinic at Farnborough hospital. By this time the ulcer had grown bigger. At the clinic they put me on a drip and dressed the wound.

This went on for about 4 months, I had had around 6 different infections in the wound including cellulitis and MRSA plus others that I cannot pronounce, they tried different antibiotic and different dressings, nothing was working, and through all this time I was in severe pain, little sleep and difficulty walking. I was given several different pain killers, but no good. I thought that this was going to finish my working life, that I would be forced to retire.

Then by chance at my GP surgery, I happened to speak to the district nurse, she looked at the ulcer and suggested a referral to the Willows leg ulcer service, on my first visit I was told that it should heal in 4 to 6 weeks and that the pain will go. At that time I still had another infection in the wound, the GP wanted to give yet more antibiotic. The leg ulcer clinic said no, and that their care would get rid of the infection.

The basics of the treatment was a pressure bandage, which dressings they used did not matter. The pressure bandage did all the work to force the blood to the wound. Within 1 week I was pain free, and after 5 weeks the ulcer has now healed.

I cannot praise the care and attention given at this clinic highly enough. I had been in agony for 5 months, and they cured the ulcer in 5 weeks. Why did the GP not send me there in the first place, it would have saved the NHS a fortune?

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Response from Amanda Mayo, Head of Nursing, Quality Team, Bromley Healthcare

picture of Amanda Mayo

Thank you for your posting.

When I went into work today so many people asked me if I had seen your posting as it is such a great example of how care can go wrong but then with skill and experience it can be turned around and your life changed!

We at Bromley Healthcare are so pleased that our team of Tissue Viability nurses have been able to support you back to full health.

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Response from Jonathan Lewis, CEO, Bromley Healthcare

picture of Jonathan Lewis


Thanks for taking the time to write

Our Leg ulcer service has won many awards, is very well led and has a strong and highly motivated team - this will mean a lot to them



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Response from Princess Royal University Hospital

Thank you for this feedback and it is very good to hear that your local specilaised clinic was able to heal your ulcer. I am sorry that despite many treatments at our Princess Royal site we were unable to obtain that result. If you would like us to investigate the care provided please contact our PALS service kch-tr.palskent@nhs.net