4.1 Pressure ulcers: prevention and management (NICE clinical guideline 179) states that the cost of treating a grade 4 pressure ulcer is estimated to be £40,000 a year (Collier 1999). If the MIST Therapy system reduced the healing time of these wounds it could potentially offer substantial cost savings to the NHS, although most chronic wounds are likely to involve less prolonged and complex treatment.
4.2 The MIST Therapy system is claimed to enhance healing and decrease bioburden in wounds and might therefore reduce the use of antimicrobial dressings and systemic antibiotics. This could result in a reduction in the expenditure on wound dressings and in the risk of antibiotic resistance.
4.3 The Committee was advised that the MIST Therapy system can be used in a community setting, where most chronic wounds are managed.
4.4 The Committee recognised that the MIST Therapy system potentially offers substantial cost savings to the NHS by reducing the length of time that chronic wounds require attention, and so decreasing costs associated with nursing time, wound dressings, hospital admissions and surgical interventions (including, occasionally, amputation).
4.5 The Committee was advised by the expert adviser that patients have reported improvements in wellbeing after treatment with the MIST Therapy system and have shown greater willingness to attend clinics for treatment two to three times a week.
4.6 The Committee noted that the use of the MIST Therapy system in a community setting could make it easier for patients with disabilities to access treatment, so promoting equality.