Overview of the Research
The research team comprises of Professor Peter Vowden and Kath Vowden, Nurse Consultant who act as Chief/Principal investigators for studies. Two Research Nurses as well as clinical staff in the Diabetic Foot Clinic, Leg Ulcer Clinic, ward area and outpatients support the research programme. The research unit was established in 1992 and conducts both vascular and wound care research at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and has bespoke research facilities in the Bradford Institute for Health Research. The research team aims to provide patient-focus vascular and wound healing research, implementing evidence based best practice.
The Wound Care Unit has an international reputation for both clinical research and direct patient care, working in partnerships with the University of Bradford, the University of Leeds Clinical Trials Department and several locally based international wound care companies to conducting innovative research. The Unit maintains close contact with the NIHR Healthcare Technology Co-operative for Wound Prevention and Treatment with is based in Bradford Teaching Hospitals with whom it aims to develop new and advanced technologies improving outcomes for patients with chronic wounds. The current research portfolio includes:
DIABETIC FOOT ULCERS
Foot ulcers affect many people with diabetes at some time in their life. They are associated with reduced quality of life, higher costs, increased mortality and morbidity (Iversen et al. 2009). It has been estimated that the proportion of people with diabetes in the UK who have ever had a foot ulcer is around 6% (Williams et al. 2000). The lifetime risk of a foot ulcer is estimated to be between 15% and 25% (Singh et al. 2005). Diabetic foot ulcers take weeks (often months) to heal, and while they are open they increase the risk of infection of the foot or lower limb (including osteomyelitis) and/or gangrene.
A leg ulcer is defined as a wound on the leg or foot that takes more than six weeks to heal. A range of underlying disease processes can be responsible for the area of ulceration, the most common of which is venous disease.
Leg ulcers are of huge socio-economic importance costing the NHS over one billion pounds per year. There are in excess of 100,000 active venous ulcers in the UK at any one time, 80%, the mainstay of treatment is compression therapy with the majority of cases receiving treatment in the community.
Iversen MM, Tell GS, Riise T, Hanestad BR, Ostbye T, Graue M, et al. History of foot ulcer increases mortality among individuals with diabetes: ten-year follow-up of the Nord-Trondelag Health Study, Norway. Diabetes care. 2009;32(12):2193-9.
Singh N, Armstrong DG, Lipsky BA. Preventing foot ulcers in patients with diabetes. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association. 2005;293(2):217-28.
Williams R, Airey M. The size of the problem: epidemiological and economic aspects of foot problems in diabetes.