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National Wound Care Workforce Framework for England


The National Wound Care Strategy Programme (NWCSP) commissioned the development of this framework for health and care staff involved in wound care in England. The framework describes the required skills, knowledge and behaviours to improve wound care in three clinical areas (Pressure Ulcers, Lower Limb and Surgical Wounds).


Wound care in England is thought to cost approximately £8.3 billion per annum. There is marked unwarranted variation in treatment of wounds, with underuse of evidence-based practice and overuse of ineffective interventions. Non-healing or delayed healing of chronic wounds is a major factor in care costs and many of these wounds could be prevented or healed more quickly.

The NWCSP is established to enable care that is organised and research-informed, to achieve improved healing rates, better experience of care, greater cost-effectiveness and prevent incidence and recurrence. Education forms a major part of this national programme with one of the aims to develop core capabilities for health and care practitioners that will both improve care and promote self-care.

In 2021, in partnership with Skills for Health, the NWCSP developed the Core Capabilities Framework. Following feedback, this framework was expanded in 2023 to include recommendations for education and a career Framework. It was renamed The National Wound Care Workforce Framework, with the original core capabilities framework unchanged. This framework identifies and describes the skills, knowledge and behaviours required to deliver high quality; person centred wound care. It is designed to complement existing documents and provide a consistent, comprehensive framework developed by and for a multi-professional audience, only a few of whom usually work within a designated and defined wound care service.

As a national programme, the NWCSP have defined the capabilities (i.e. the overarching requirements) which incorporate the wound care knowledge, skills and behaviours, which practitioners need to demonstrate. Capabilities describe the potential to be competent, and beyond this, to work effectively in situations which may require flexibility and creativity to produce an outcome.

The NWCSP currently has no plans to develop further guidance on this topic as they recognise that approaches need to be flexible depending on service and workforce models, patient and workforce development needs. Therefore, how the National Wound Care Workforce Framework for England is used in practice is up to individual employers. The National Wound Care Workforce Framework for England is not a summative list of competence against which the performance of an individual is assessed. The NWCSP would recommend that if employers wish to develop competency documents, these should support assessment of specific wound care related tasks.

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