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Wounds Clinic makes a difference at Tauranga Hospital

22 February 2023

83-year-old Marie Sutton knows first-hand how valuable the newly-established Wounds Clinic is at Tauranga Hospital.

Wounds Clinic makes a difference at Tauranga Hospital

The Tauranga local started receiving treatment early last year for a badly infected head wound. Since then, she has regular check-ups with Plastic Surgeon Mr Daniel Butler and her dressing changed by the nurses who work at the clinic. Prior to the Wounds Clinic opening in August 2022, Marie wouldn’t have had access to this sort of service.

“The demand for consultant clinic space is very high, so it can be difficult to accommodate patients for complex wound reviews,” explains Daniel. “However, with the Plastic Surgery Wound Clinic being established, patients are able to receive post-reconstructive surgery care or care for complex wounds at the hospital, with input from the doctors as needed.  We can then link the patient in with the district nurses once appropriate.”

Patients are referred into the clinic for their post-operative care or after review by the plastic surgery SMOs.

“It’s improved communication between the hospital and community, and we can support one another. It’s also made a massive difference for many more new patients. We’re sharing and unifying our knowledge of care,” said Daniel.

Senior Surgical Nurses Andrea Reid and Melissa Yu work part-time at the clinic alongside Daniel and Plastic Surgeon Mr Brandon Adams.

Andrea and Melissa have both completed the Certificate in Wound Debridement, a course that teaches nurses and podiatrists how to look after complex wounds and debride them as needed.

“It was a comprehensive course that taught us how to assess patients with wound problems in a holistic way, very much the big picture of why they formed and how best to treat them. This was the first time a course like this has taken place in New Zealand and it’s great the nurses can get this certification and have the skills and knowledge to clean the wound with the use of scalpel, curette and sharp tools – like a mini operation.”

Thanks to the regular appointments and dressing changing at the Wounds Clinic, Marie’s wound has healed. She sings the praises of Daniel and Andrea for their care.

“It’s thanks to the Wound Clinic and the exemplary care I’ve received that my wound has finally healed and I no longer feel worried and self-conscious about it.”