Professor Karen Ousey, Institute Director

The Institute for Skin Integrity and Infection Prevention places the University of Huddersfield at the forefront of research and teaching in the management of acute and chronic non-healing wounds.

The management of acute and chronic non-healing wounds, including assessment and treatment, typically represents between 3 – 5% of global health care expenditure. To put this into perspective in the UK alone in 2012 / 13, the NHS managed around 2.2 million acute and chronic wounds, with an estimated cost between £4.5 – 5 billion (1). In 2013 around £3.2 billion was spent on wounds with delayed healing. In addition to the economic burden of wound care, the cost of treating Health Care Associated Infections (HCAIs), particularly surgical site infections (SSIs), has been estimated to represent a further £1 billion. This is further compounded by the development of anti-microbial drug resistance and in particular evolution of multi-drug resistant pathogens, such as MRSA, related to misuse and over-use of antibiotics. The current calculations of annual spend on wound management and HCAIs are likely to be underestimates, but with projected global rises in an ageing population it is anticipated these figures will increase. Medical and technological advances also means that people are increasingly living with comorbidities such as diabetes, dementia, obesity and cardiovascular problems, all with an increased prevalence for acute and chronic wounds.

Our Vision

The overall vision of ISIaIP is to provide translational research which fundamentally improves the quality of life for patients through a “bench to bedside” approach, entrenched in scientifically rigorous methods with a clinical focus.

How Do We Achieve This?

  1. We have a multi-disciplinary team
  2. We conduct innovative collaborative research of international standing
  3. We work with industry leaders and health care providers
  4. We carry out contract research and consultancy with industry
  5. We deliver high quality education, training the next generation of health care practitioners, scientists, engineers and product designers
  6. Our team sits on regional, national and international bodies, such as NICE and NHS England, developing policies and health system improvements

Institute Newsletter vol 2

(1)     Guest JF, Ayoub N, McIlwraith T, Uchegbu I, Gerrish A, Weidlich D, et al. Health Economic Burden that Wounds Impose on the National Health Service in the UK. BMJ Open. 2015;5(12).