$1.5 million grant to enhance community wound care

St Luke’s Hospital (SLH) has received a grant of $1.5 million, disbursed over three years, from Lew Foundation to set up the Lew Foundation Community Wound Hub. The Hub enables the hospital’s wound care team to extend wound care beyond the hospital and grow wound care capacity and capability in the community. This would improve the quality of life for more patients including those who are bed-bound and wheelchair-bound in nursing homes or at home.

“Wound care is a meaningful cause. This funding will help patients with wounds to recover and return home earlier. Residents of Lew Foundation-funded nursing homes would also benefit greatly, with better care of pressure injuries and other wounds.” said Mr Lew Chee Beng, Chairman of Lew Foundation.

The Hub will develop:

  1. Onsite reinforcement of clinical care for wounds among community partners such as nursing homes;
  2. Education and training to build capability among nursing home partners and caregivers in wound management, and strengthen wound care knowledge and best practices among industry practitioners; and
  3. Research and innovation, for example to test-bed novel wound-healing products, and evaluate patient care outcomes and cost-effectiveness of wound treatment models.

Mr Lew added, “With new technology, we hope to uncover new avenues to achieve more efficient ways of wound care, which will in turn help alleviate pain and suffering, especially among the elderly or bed-ridden. Proper wound care would also help to avoid preventable amputations.”

Chronic wounds such as pressure injuries are a growing epidemic globally. In Singapore, it has been estimated that at least 150,000 people will be affected by chronic wounds every year.

Wounds are known to cause both physical and psychological distress. Pain is a regular accompanying factor and prolonged exposure to pain may result in depression-like symptoms and loss of appetite leading to unintended weight loss. Wounds, especially those that are significantly large and odorous, may also affect self-esteem and lead people to feel miserable as they feel they are unable to care for themselves.

With the funding, St Luke’s Hospital started providing wound consultancy services in June 2020 to St. Andrew’s Nursing Home (SANH) (Taman Jurong). Besides treating residents, the consultancy enables nursing home staff to learn wound care techniques for different types of wounds. Forty SANH (Taman Jurong) nurses are expected to be trained through a “Train the Trainer Training Scheme”. These nurses would in turn train more nurses, enabling more residents to benefit from improved wound care.

“The most common types of wounds that SANH (Taman Jurong) sees are pressure injuries and skin tear. Attaching staff nurses to SLH’s wound clinician allows them to learn wound care best practices,” said Mr Philip Wong, Executive Director, SANH (Taman Jurong).

“Staff found the collaboration useful as the SLH wound nurse clinician takes time to provide detailed explanation about wounds and the treatment methods. The on-the-job training takes place at the nursing home and staff have opportunities for hands-on sessions with various wound types under the supervision of the SLH wound nurse clinician,” said Mr Wong.

St Luke’s Hospital also plans to launch an on-site wound consultancy service with NTUC Health Nursing Home (Geylang East) and NTUC Health Nursing Home (Chai Chee). The two nursing homes will be working with St Luke’s Hospital to build up their best practices and advance skills and capabilities in wound care management.

Most pressure injuries are preventable. However, lack of public awareness and research in wound care mean there are cases that go undetected until they reach more advanced stages. The Lew Foundation Community Wound Hub will help play a part to reduce such wounds, pain and suffering.

A/Prof Tan Boon Yeow, CEO of St Luke’s Hospital, said, “We are grateful to Lew Foundation for their generous grant. The grant will help improve patient care outcomes, reduce readmission risk and lower cost for patients and healthcare system. Through partnership with the nursing homes, we hope to achieve a multiplier effect to improve the quality of life for more patients in the community.”

St Luke’s Hospital (slh.org.sg) has a dedicated wound ward to care for patients with complex wounds and fight the war against limb loss. Reducing infection, amputation and cost improves quality of life for patients. The hospital also trains other healthcare institutions in wound care, with its intermediate wound management course accredited by the European Wound Management Association. In 2017, the Agency for Integrated Care awarded St Luke’s Hospital Wound Centre a tender to conduct wound courses.

Photo story

Photo caption: Caroline Tan Siew Ling, Assistant Nurse Clinician, St Luke’s Hospital (right) who specialises in complex wound management, provides wound care training to Naqiyah Binte Yusuf, Staff Nurse, St. Andrew’s Nursing Home (Taman Jurong). Photo provided by St. Andrew’s Nursing Home (Taman Jurong)

82-year-old resident Yu Boon Kee appreciates the new care model. He said, “I was warded at St Luke’s Hospital (SLH) before I was admitted to St. Andrew’s Nursing Home (SANH) (Taman Jurong). I am glad that I can continue to receive wound care at SANH (Taman Jurong). In addition to having the SLH wound care specialist attend to the residents’ needs, the nurses at SANH (Taman Jurong) also get to receive training from the specialists. This is a boon to all the nursing home residents.”

Said Naqiyah, “We have learnt a lot from St Luke’s Hospital, such as wound assessment, proper sterile dressing techniques as well as wound care products available. It has been heartening to see our residents’ wounds healed! The skills and knowledge gained will also help us prevent wounds from getting worse and even prevent wounds in the first place. I look forward to sharing what I have learnt with our fellow nurses so that we can provide better care for our residents!”

About St Luke’s Hospital

St Luke’s Hospital, named after the patron saint of the medical profession, was the first hospital in Singapore dedicated to the elderly sick.

We have expanded our services beyond the elderly to enrich more lives. An Institution of a Public Character, we care for 2,000 inpatients and 3,000 outpatients each year, regardless of race, language or religion. As illnesses may be long and chronic, we care holistically for patients’ physical, emotional and psychosocial well-being.

Impactful and innovative in transforming community care, we were the first recipient of the President’s Award for Social Impact (2012), and the first community hospital to receive the National Healthcare Innovation and Productivity Medal (National University Hospital – St Luke’s Hospital Integrated Care Path, 2016). We topped the Community Hospital Patient Experience Survey in 2018.

About Lew Foundation

Established in 2015, Lew Foundation is named after its founder and Chairman, Mr Lew Chee Beng. Generous and compassionate with great empathy for those suffering from hardships in their lives, Mr Lew firmly believes in supporting local communities and helping to provide for the less fortunate, the elderly and youth in particular.

Lew Foundation serves as a platform that nurtures and supports the efforts of local institutions, non-profit organisations and charities, aimed at improving the lives of the needy and building a more compassionate and giving society.


yǐn shuǐ sī yuán

In Mandarin, this idiom expresses the importance of gratitude and of remembering that we are part of a larger community. It is also the philosophy of our Founder and underpins the Foundation’s mission of giving back to the community by taking care of those who carry the weight of financial, physical and psychological struggles.

About Lew Foundation Community Wound Hub

The Lew Foundation Community Wound Hub is a collaboration project between St Luke’s Hospital and Lew Foundation. The hub seeks to leverage on the hospital’s wound care expertise to increase wound care capacity and capability in the community, through onsite reinforcement of clinical care, education and training, as well as research and innovation.

About St. Andrew’s Nursing Home (Taman Jurong)

Singapore Anglican Community Services (SACS) is a social service agency and an approved Institution of Public Character. SACS serves the community through three areas: Psychiatric Services, Senior Services, as well as Family and Children Services.

To cater to the needs of an ageing population, SACS has expanded its provision of care services for seniors. With the support of SACS’ sister organisation, St. Andrew’s Mission Hospital, SACS started operating St. Andrew’s Nursing Home (SANH) (Taman Jurong) since February 2019.

Located on Yung Ho Walk, SANH (Taman Jurong) provides long-term support, nursing care and rehabilitation for the elderly, as well as people with dementia and mental health issues. The nursing home can serve up to 290 residents.

About NTUC Health Nursing Home

NTUC Health Co-operative Limited (NTUC Health) is an NTUC social enterprise that provides a comprehensive and integrated suite of quality and affordable health and eldercare services to meet the growing needs of families and their dependents. Building on more than four decades of experience and expertise, NTUC Health is among the largest senior day care, nursing home and home personal care providers in Singapore. It also offers other services for seniors such as an active ageing hub, senior activity centres, community support for vulnerable seniors, and a sheltered / senior group home. In addition, it runs a chain of dental clinics, and a family medicine clinic. For more information, please visit  www.ntuchealth.sg.