Despite the fact that our legs are responsible for getting many of us from a to b, they’re surprisingly overlooked when it comes to physical health care. Legs Matter UK is a coalition of healthcare organisations that have come together to make sure that anyone with a lower leg or foot problem understands their condition and receives the urgent care, attention and support they need. To raise further awareness, the second annual Legs Matter Week takes place from 12-16 October. 

SHP client, David has lived with serious wound for over two years. Caused by injecting, the wounds have become infected, the skin has darkened and David’s quality of life has seriously deteriorated. 

"You can't do nothing. I don't want to go to my family because I don't want them to see me like this. I'm embarrassed for them to see me like that." 

For people experiencing homelessness, leg care – particularly wound care, is a huge issue. Injecting in the lower limbs can lead to leg ulcerations, wound infections, abscesses, pseudoaneurysm, and skin infections, all of which can make you unwell, to the point of requiring antibiotic therapy, hospital admission, and even emergency surgery.  

However, it is worth noting that not all ulcers in people experiencing homelessness are related to injecting. There are those that are susceptible to very similar wounds and venous disease that have never injected before. 

Tragically, a lot of the leg ulcers and wounds seen in the homeless population are treatable, healable, and preventable. Dr Jemell Geraghty has been a nurse for nearly 20 years, and has worked in wound care for almost 15, and is extremely passionate about the subject. Jemell fears that specialist wound care for homeless people is seen as an optional extra when it is in fact an essential component of inclusive and accessible health care. 

In the film below, David and Jemell sat down to discuss David’s lived experience and their hopes for the future... 

Later this year we’ll be sharing outcomes and learnings from our wound care pilot in Camden, created in partnership with Dr Jasmin Malik and Dr Jemell Geraghty, funded by MHCLG. Follow us on Twitter to make sure you hear first.