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New summaries

Venous leg ulcers: infection diagnosis and microbiological investigation

Public Health England

16 August 2016

Venous leg ulcers: infection diagnosis and microbiological investigation

This clear summary of Public Health England’s guideline on infection diagnosis and microbiological investigation of venous leg ulcers aims to provide a simple, effective, economical, and empirical approach to the management of venous leg ulcers when infection is suspected, and to minimise the emergence of antibiotic resistance in the community.

UK medical eligibility criteria for contraceptive use (UKMEC) guideline


02 August 2016

Modern contraceptives may be safe, but not all women are safe to use them. Preventing an unintended pregnancy can be vital, but must take into account the many factors influencing a woman’s situation when she presents in primary care that could affect the safety of contraception. In this edition of the UKMEC guidance, factors such as a history of bariatric surgery, organ transplant, and rheumatoid arthritis have been included.This Guidelines summary covers the safety of contraceptive methods, their interactions with conditions women commonly present with in primary care, and the potential contraindications with ongoing treatment.

Hand hygiene


19 July 2016

A clear guideline summary on procedures for hand hygiene to aid in the prevention and management of healthcare-associated infections, a frequent adverse event during care delivery, to maintain patient safety.
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is an illegal, extremely harmful practice and a form of child abuse and violence. Local safeguarding protocols will be in place, including those spanning multiple agencies, enabling each NHS organisation to help children and young people who are at risk of abuse. Protocols should be consistent with those developed by Local Safeguarding Children Boards, and should consider those cases where there is a potential risk of FGM, or where FGM is alleged or known about. This Guidelines for Nurses summary covers the specific issues frequently encountered when dealing with FGM, and includes a framework that organisations may choose to use to support professionals in the ongoing consideration of risks relating to FGM.

Falls in older people: assessing risk and prevention


04 July 2016

Falls and fall-related injuries are a common and serious problem for older people. People aged 65 years and older have the highest risk of falling, with 30% of people older than 65 years, and 50% of people older than 80 years falling at least once a year. The human cost of falling includes distress, pain, injury, loss of confidence, loss of independence, and mortality. Falling also affects the family members and carers of people who fall. Falls are estimated to cost the NHS more than £2.3 billion per year. Therefore, falling has an impact on quality of life, health, and healthcare costs. This Guidelines summary covers prevention, risk assessment, and multifactorial interventions.
People with diabetes are at a higher risk of having foot problems, mostly due to diabetic neuropathy or peripheral arterial disease. Mortality rates after diabetic foot ulceration and amputation are high, up to 70% of people die within 5 years of having an amputation, and around 50% of people die within 5 years of developing a foot ulcer. Evidence shows that the provision of an integrated footcare pathway, with trained staff in foot protection services in the community, and speedy access to multidisciplinary specialist teams, considerably lowers the risk of amputation. This updated Guidelines summary incorporates additional information to the footcare pathway, and continues to include recommendations on management and patient education.
New articles

UKMEC supports the delivery of safe, evidence-based contraceptive care

By Shelley Raine  |  

25 July 2016

UKMEC supports the delivery of safe, evidence-based contraceptive care

Shelley Raine explains why the UKMEC is so important in general practice and how to apply the recommendations when seeing women, both for the initiation of a contraceptive method and continuation of a treatment.