Expansion of Duncan wound care clinic benefits community and nursing staff

Marlene Rice, a wound care clinic client at Duncan Community Health Services on Ingram Street, says the recent addition of a third treatment room for wound care is a big benefit for clients and for nursing staff alike.

 “It means a lot not only for the community, but also for nursing care,” she says.

The expansion of the wound clinic also means a decrease in the amount of time home care nurses need to travel in order to provide wound care to clients, according to Donna Jouan-Tapp, Manager, Duncan Community Health Services.

“Demands for community nursing care have resulted in increases to workloads by 15 per cent annually over the last three years,” says Jouan-Tapp. “We needed to figure out what to do differently and expanding the wound clinic was a simple first step.”

The addition of the third room has dramatically increased the clinic’s nursing capacity by 30 per cent – meaning more clients who are mobile can now get the care they need by attending a booked appointment at the clinic as opposed to clinic nurses travelling to the clients’ homes to provide care. The expanded wound clinic is an efficient way for nurses to continue delivering quality care to mobile wound care clients.

“For every person we visit in their home, we can care for three people here at the wound clinic in the same amount of time, “ said Jouan-Tapp, adding part of the reason for that is nurses don’t have to factor in travel time when providing care to patients at the wound clinic.

Adds home care nurse Kecia Bremner: “If I am going to see someone in Lake Cowichan, I have to factor in an hour of travel time plus the time it takes to care for the client. On the road, I can visit five to seven clients per day, depending on where they live, whereas in the wound clinic, one nurse can see as many as 16 clients per day.”

The changes have also allowed staff in the wound clinic to provide consistency for their clients where clients tend to see the same nurse time after time. 

“Consistency is important because clients are not having to repeat the same information about themselves and their conditions to different clinicians,” says Erica McKendry, Leader, Duncan Community Health Services. “Rather, nurses in the wound care clinic know their clients and what is going on in their lives.”

Another benefit of the wound clinic for clients is that they can book an appointment. 

“Wound clinic clients can schedule their day around their appointment. They don’t have to wait for us,” says Bremner.

Client Roger Allan has been receiving care at the wound clinic for the last several months. “I can see why it’s a more effective and efficient way of handling matters than having staff travelling out to where I am,” says Allan. “By having an exact appointment, it really does make life easier.”

The team also consults with a Rapid Response nurse practitioner who helps manage overall care and healing for severely complex clients. 

“Our goal is to support clients to heal and improve their quality of life – the faster we can look after their wounds, the faster they can get back to their own lives,” explains Shona Van Eeuwen, Nurse Practitioner, Duncan Community Health Services.

The Duncan community nursing team expects to carry out more than 24,000 client visits this fiscal year. It’s a daunting number but with the expansion of the clinic, staff feel better equipped to meet the needs of the community where patients who are mobile and have access to transportation can make appointments with the clinic, and home care nurses will continue to visit other, less mobile patients in their homes. 

“We are always looking for best evidence ways to provide good, quality service that allows us to use our existing resources to maximum efficiency,” says Jouan-Tapp. ““The wound clinic expansion means we don’t have wait lists, can respond to client needs in the moment and ensure they are cared for in a timely fashion.”

A process improvement project which initially spurred the expansion of the wound clinic has also been very well received, earning Jouan-Tapp and her team an Island Health Evidence-Into-Practice gold medal award in fall 2019.


Cowichan media inquiries 
Cheryl Bloxham