Developing a nurse-led ‘red legs’ service
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Developing a nurse-led ‘red legs’ service

Rebecca Elwell Macmillan lymphoedema clinical nurse specialist, University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, Stoke-on-Trent

Rebecca Elwell describes one trust’s attempt to minimise the misdiagnosis of cellulitis by setting up a nurse-led service to treat patients with red legs

As the population ages, more complex care is required to manage multiple comorbidities. In response, a nurse-led service was developed to care for patients with ‘red legs’. This chronic inflammatory condition is often misdiagnosed as acute cellulitis and can result in unnecessary hospital admission and inappropriate treatment, with substantial resource and financial implications for trusts.

Setting up the service required a multi-agency group to analyse current provision and identify gaps in care. Integrated care pathways were developed to focus on patient experience through referral, diagnostics and treatment. Evaluation showed that much of the prescribed care for patients with red legs could be carried out by patients at home and only a small number required a follow-up appointment. High levels of patient satisfaction were recorded.

Nursing Older People. 27, 10, 23-27. doi: 10.7748/nop.27.10.23.s20


Peer review

This article has been subject to double-blind review and has been checked using antiplagiarism software

Conflict of interest

Trustee for the British Lymphology Society

Received: 10 March 2015

Accepted: 13 October 2015