Publication of UK NICE Clinical Guidelines 168 has not significantly changed the management of leg ulcers in primary care: An analysis of The Health Improvement Network database.

Davies, Huw Ob and Popplewell, Matthew and Bate, Gareth and Ryan, Ronan P and Marshall, Tom P and Bradbury, Andrew W (2018) Publication of UK NICE Clinical Guidelines 168 has not significantly changed the management of leg ulcers in primary care: An analysis of The Health Improvement Network database. Phlebology. ISSN 1758-1125.

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Official URL: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/026835...

Abstract

Background NICE Clinical Guidelines (CG) 168, published in July 2013, recommend specialist vascular referral for all leg ulcers, defined as a break in the skin below the knee that has not healed within two weeks. Aim To examine the impact of CG168 on the primary care management of leg ulcers using The Health Improvement Network database. Methods An eligible population of approximately two million adult patients was analysed over two 18-month periods before and after publication of CG168. Those with a new diagnosis of leg ulcers in each time period were analysed in terms of demographics, specialist referral and superficial venous ablation. Results We identified 7532 and 7462 new diagnoses of leg ulcers in the pre- and post-CG168 cohorts, respectively. Patients with a new diagnosis of leg ulcers were elderly (median age: 77 years both cohorts) and less likely to be male (47% both cohorts). There were 2259 (30.0%) and 2329 (31.2%) vascular service referrals in the pre- and post-CG168 cohorts, respectively (hazard ratio, 1.05, 95% CI: 0.99, 1.11, p = 0.096). The median interval between general practitioner diagnosis and referral was 1.5 days in both cohorts. Patients from both cohorts who were referred for a new diagnosis of leg ulcers were equally likely to receive superficial venous ablation. Conclusions Disappointingly, we have been unable to demonstrate that publication of NICE CG168 has been associated with a meaningful change in leg ulcer management in primary care in line with guideline recommendations.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WG Cardiovascular system. Cardiology
Divisions: Planned IP Care > Vascular
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Depositing User: Miss Emily Johnson
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2018 15:58
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2018 15:58
URI: http://www.repository.heartofengland.nhs.uk/id/eprint/1766

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