Improving patient access to compression garments: an alternative approach

Following negative audit findings from patients obtaining hosiery through the drug formulary, local NHS commissioners enabled Lymphoedema Specialist Services Ltd (LSS) to purchase garments directly from hosiery suppliers as part of a compression hosiery ordering project (CHOP). This article describes the rationale for, process involved in and outcomes of CHOP, which commenced in 2015. The three-stage process designed to meet objectives set for the hosiery manufacturer, LSS and NHS service commissioners has benefitted patients, LSS and the NHS.  A post-CHOP audit found patients had prompt access to the treatment they needed and found the new system easier to use than the drug formulary route. The percentage of patients experiencing issues dropped from 83% with the drug formulary route to 10% with CHOP. The deal negotiated with the manufacturer led to cost savings for the NHS. Based on the results of CHOP, recommendations are made for practice. 

Authors

  • Jane Board

    Director and Lymphoedema Consultant Nurse Practitioner, Lymphoedema Specialist Services Ltd

  • Julia Anderson

    Manager and Lymphoedema Associate Practitioner , Lymphoedema Specialist Services Ltd

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