The first of four Harley Wound Healing mobile units were trialled at Chalk Farm and Brent Cross in Londonin Octobert are specifically designed to treat complex and chronic wounds such as diabetic and vascular ulcers that may not heal for months or even years. They are now poised to roll out all over the country.
These are set to be COVID-19 secure treatment hubs with extra controls to protect against the virus.
A recent research study has estimated that the annual cost of managing wounds in the NHS and associated comorbidities is £5.3 billion.
The true cost of wounds that do not heal goes beyond medical, as there are often severe psychological effects including altered eating habits, depression, loss of confidence and resulting social isolation. These are factors which studies show can actually make a wound less likely to heal.
Anxiety because of anticipated pain and stress levels at dressing changes can provide a further reason for slow healing as patients may fail to adhere to treatment regimens or miss appointments.
Some patients will often feel unable to go out due to changes in appearance or the fact that clothes or shoes no longer fit, leading to feelings of anxiety and helplessness. Limiting activities to avoid pain can lead to social isolation which can mean the patient will keep their problems to themselves rather than seek help.
According to analysis by the charity Diabetes UK, more than 9,000 amputations a year are caused by diabetes with 80 per cent of these being the result of diabetic foot ulcers.
“A large proportion of chronic wounds treated by the NHS are diabetic foot ulcers which can be difficult for them to treat. However, these clinics will have access to novel personalised treatments that harness the patient’s own ability to heal itself and we are able to treat complex, chronic wounds that were previously near unhealable,” said Dr Aamer Khan, regenerative medicine expert and co-founder of Harley Street Skin and Harley Wound Healing Clinic.
Dr Aamer Khan said: “Each mobile unit will be kitted out with cutting-edge technology with the means to process these novel treatments from the patient’s own blood, building upon a technology referred to as platelet-rich plasma (PRP), which involves doctors taking a small amount of the patient’s blood and processing it in a centrifuge to separate out the plasma and the platelets that contain growth factors, which are used to promote wound healing and boost tissue regeneration.”
The mobile units will be staffed by a GP, nurses and healthcare assistants who will work under the supervision of top specialists who aim to close these complex wounds using the latest innovative wound therapies.
Mr Sandip Sarkar is a vascular surgeon who has pioneered the usage of autologous platelet biotherapies and has been instrumental in setting up the specialist wound healing clinic. Successful trials undertaken by Mr Sarkar for Barts Health NHS Trust have shown wounds not responding to conventional treatment did respond to the use of these platelet derived technologies. He will be joined by Professor Ash Mosahebi who brings a wealth of experience in reconstructive and plastic surgery and regenerative medicine, and orthopaedic surgeon Mr Haroon Mann who has worked for years in the field of foot and ankle injuries.
The four mobile units will soon be stationed across the country to provide revolutionary treatments for hard-to-heal wounds which have not responded to conventional means, potentially changing lives and giving hope to many who may otherwise face amputation as a result of their wound.
Appointments can be made through the Harley Wound Healing Clinic at Harley Street Skin, 48 Harley Street or online at www.harleywoundhealing.com and over the phone at 0800 470 1015.