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NICE has developed medical technology guidance on the Debrisoft monofilament debridement pad for use in acute or chronic wounds.

NICE medical technologies guidance addresses specific technologies notified to NICE by manufacturers. The ‘case for adoption’ recommendations are based on the claimed advantages of introducing the specific technology compared with current management of the condition. This ‘case’ is reviewed against the evidence submitted and expert advice. If the case for adopting the technology is supported, then the technology has been found to offer advantages to patients and the NHS. The specific recommendations on individual technologies are not intended to limit use of other relevant technologies which may offer similar advantages.

NICE has said that the Debrisoft pad can be used by healthcare workers treating wounds in either adults or children in community clinics or at home. The available evidence is mainly in adults with chronic wounds. Healthcare teams may want to use the Debrisoft pad because the evidence shows that it debrides appropriate wounds more quickly, with fewer nurse visits, than other debridement methods. This will save money. It is also convenient, easy to use and well tolerated by patients.

Pressure ulcers (NICE guideline CG29) makes evidence-based recommendations on the management of pressure ulcers in primary and secondary care; an updated guideline is planned for publication in April 2014.

Coding relevant to this guidance


NICE guidance states that this is for use in a community setting, this being primary care. OPCS-4 is only mandated for use in secondary care in the admitted patient care dataset. As this would be carried out by a nurse in community setting no OPCS-4 code would be assigned. Unless this is being considered for inpatients,  the patients would need to be admitted under a consultant in order that and FCE to be generated OPCS-4 code assigned.

Possible OPCS-4 code if needed: wound debridement S57.1



939871000000108 | Debridement of wound of skin using debridement pad (procedure)


19273111000001103 | Physical debridement pad (physical object)

19257811000001102 | DebriSoft pad 10cm x 10cm (Activa Healthcare Ltd) (physical object)

Your responsibility

This guidance represents the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, healthcare professionals are expected to take this guidance fully into account. However, the guidance does not override the individual responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or guardian or carer.

Commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to implement the guidance, in their local context, in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations. Nothing in this guidance should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.

Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)