Fix that wound with SWOT

News: SWOT's Juliet Blenman
Juliet Blenman

It sounds like a rapid response unit in a US TV drama – and in fact Oxleas Greenwich SWOT team does indeed exist to help … patients in the borough of Greenwich.

SWOT or Specialist Wound-care Out-reach Team is the brainchild of Juliet Blenman, Tissue Viability Nurse, The Lower Limb service, at the Fairfield Centre in Fairfield Grove, Charlton.

Married with three children, Juliet, 48, lives in Chingford, Essex and has spent 31 years working in the NHS. The 10 strong SWOT team with Greenwich Community Health Services treat clients in Woolwich, Plumstead, Charlton, Eltham and Thamesmead.

SWOT was launched in March 2011 – and according to Juliet it is the first team of its kind in the UK. Its first meeting was organised by Juliet and Sonia Kirwan, Tissue Viability Nurse for the Tissue Viability Service.

Juliet said: “Attendance was excellent and the afternoon was spent clarifying the role and responsibility of the SWOT team and what is expected from it.

“They say variety is a spice of life and our members are keen and enthusiastic. They are drawn from a variety of healthcare backgrounds. The team consists of podiatry specialists, a practice nurse, district nurses and healthcare support workers.

“The SWOT role is to promote effective care regarding wounds and we aim to improve on this through educating and supporting our colleagues as an integrated team. Wound care links like these have been heralded as a potentially very valuable resource, however often lacked the structural power to be able to influence change to any degree.

“The first task of the team was to conduct an audit in regards to the type of compression bandages being used in the community and how many service users have leg ulcers. The team actually replaces the old ‘Link Nurse’ and acts as a go-between between specialists and nurses.

“Patients can refer themselves or can be referred by a GP. Sometimes it is a daunting task with all the extra patients we deal with. The advantage of SWOT is that it offers three services in one: podiatry; lower limbs and tissue viability.”

Published on 10th June 2011