A community wound centre
Named after the patron saint of the medical profession, St Luke’s Hospital (SLH) is the first hospital in Singapore dedicated to the elderly sick and has been awarded for its innovation and social impact.
Over the years, it has expanded its services beyond the elderly to enrich more lives. An Institution of a Public Character, the hospital cares for 2,000 inpatients and 3,000 outpatients each year, regardless of race, language or religion.
In 2016, the St Luke’s Community Wound Centre was established to serve as a one-stop resource centre to provide integrated wound care management. This is especially important for elderly patients as wounds can easily lead to infections, which may spread if left untreated. In severe cases, this could lead to amputation and life-altering consequences for both individual and family.
At the centre, patients benefit from professional care given by a multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses and dieticians, as well as safe recovery in a community environment.
In 2020, the Lew Foundation Community Wound Hub was set up to further enhance the hospital’s wound work. In particular, the Community Wound Hub plays an important role in elevating the standards of wound care for elderly patients across the wider medical community through the sharing of valuable knowledge, skills and wound management best practices.
Investing in holistic, innovative wound care for elderly patients
With Singapore’s rapidly ageing population, there is a growing need for accessible, quality healthcare that caters for the medical needs of the elderly. Recognising this, in 2019, Lew Foundation donated $1.5 million, dispensed over a three-year period, to enhance the work of Lew Foundation Community Wound Hub in three main areas – clinical care, training and education, and research.
Clinical care enhancements
As part of the collaboration with Lew Foundation, SLH aims to support nursing home partners and home-care patients with more responsive review, consultation and intervention by its wound care clinicians through regular on-site visits, tele-consultations and dedicated channels of communication.
The programme taps on SLH’s expertise and experience to support and strengthen the wound care capabilities of nursing home partners. Ultimately, this aims to improve the ability of nursing home staff to effectively care for patients and reduce the number of readmission cases.
In the longer term, this would also help to improve overall patient care outcomes and quality of life in the community while generating greater healthcare savings for patients and caregivers.
Training and education
Lew Foundation’s contributions also enable SLH to continue providing quality wound care training and education to care providers such as e-learning courses and customised training programmes that cater for the specific needs of individual nursing homes.
Through research and empirical studies, SLH aims to improve its wound care treatments and patient care outcomes while reducing the cost of care.
As part of the programme funded by Lew Foundation, SLH has embarked on new wound care research studies and the development of test beds for the trial of new wound management products and technology.
In addition, SLH will also explore partnerships with nursing homes to conduct trials of new technologies in wound management. The research studies and relevant findings will be published, introducing new wound care knowledge to the field that will eventually translate to better clinical care for wound patients.