Congratulations to Paul Browning, chair of Hall Orchard board of governors, who has won a prestigious British Citizen Award for
Services to Healthcare by identifying the importance of treating wounds and initiating a government wound strategy to support
improvements in patient care.
Paul is a clinical scientist who started in the NHS before moving into the academic world, then to the Ministry of Defence (where he was one of the team which developed a diagnostic test for MRSA) before working in the commercial sector. His specialism is clinical microbiology and wound care.
The NHS, Paul told me, spends over £8 billion a year on wound care, most of which is spent on treating wounds which take longer than usual to heal. He saw a huge variation in wound care and cost-saving initiatives did not always put the patient first or consider longer financial concerns. Every year £28 million pounds is spent on visits by district nurses. These healthcare professionals have an important medical role but many are generalists rather than specialists. Paul argues that a patient needs to be treated holistically with the right treatment at the right time and that this could ultimately save the NHS money, as well as benefit patients across the country. “We know what’s best practice,” Paul said, “but we don’t do it uniformly.” Paul posed several written questions in the House of Lords, provided written and oral evidence to select committees, which culminated in securing an oral debate to request a national strategy for wound care, which the Government accepted and has now established. A significant policy change occurred as a result of Paul’s actions and the support he gained from colleagues and peers.
Paul was nominated for the British Citizen Award and in usual years, awards are presented at a glamorous House of Lords event, but this was an online event with the award posted to him! He and his wife Sara have been promised an official reception at the House of Lords when Covid restrictions are lifted. His children, Abi aged 12 and Cai, who is 9 years old and still attends Hall Orchard, are both very proud of their father and have been giving him lots of celebratory hugs.
Paul is delighted that this award has given him the ability to highlight the importance of consistent, good quality wound care.