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Blue Care a key partner in $28M research project

Blue Care staff will again be at the forefront of evidenced-based, best practice research as a key partner in an eight-year, $28 million wound management research project.

Blue Care Executive Director Stephen Muggleton highlighted the project during the Australian Wound Management Association’s national awareness campaign, Wound Awareness Week, which ran from 15 to 28 March.

Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr, recently granted $28 million to the Co-operative Research Centre (CRC) for Wound Management Innovation, led by Professor Zee Upton and Professor Helen Edwards at the Queensland University of Technology.

“As Australia’s largest not-for-profit provider of community health and residential aged care it is exciting to align with universities, state-wide health organisations and our alliance partners to carry out informed research into wound care,” Mr Muggleton said.

“Blue Care’s role as a key community nursing provider will ensure improved clinical interventions and treatments are quickly translated into best practice for the thousands of people we care for.”

Mr Muggleton said wound management in the aged care industry was a growing issue.

“Alarmingly 3000 lower limb amputations are performed nationally every year on patients with non-healing leg ulcers, a common and uncomfortable chronic disease among older people.

“Chronic wounds account for almost 50 per cent of Blue Care’s community nursing – a significant figure considering our nurses and carers make more than three million visits a year.

“Unfortunately the prevalence of chronic wounds is only going to rise as the population ages and diabetes rates increase, which is why this research is so timely and important.”

Mr Muggleton said it may be 12-18 months before therapies and models emerge for testing and evaluation, however initial research programs will be based on:
Predictive biomarkers for prevention and monitoring;
Therapeutic innovation;
Epidemiology and health economics and;
Care practices, delivery systems and outcomes.

“In many cases chronic wounds are manageable if treated correctly so we hope this research will find ways to provide cost-effective wound care for sufferers and help improve their quality of life,” Mr Muggleton said.

Wound Awareness Week is an initiative of the Australian Wound Management Association and aims to raise awareness of the needs of people with wounds and the accessibility and affordability of wound products.

As a not-for-profit organisation, Blue Care supports the elderly, people with a disability and others in need in the community to remain independent for as long as possible.

Blue Care staff and volunteers provide care for more than 12,500 people every day through nursing, allied health, personal care, domestic assistance, respite, social support, pastoral and volunteer services.