NICE recommends ulcer treatment which could prevent 3,000 amputations a year


A unique interactive wound dressing for venous leg ulcers and diabetic foot ulcers that could prevent more than 3,0001 diabetes-related amputations has been recommended by NICE2 (The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence), following a comprehensive review of ground-breaking clinical studies in addition to expert opinion and advice.

The conclusion of the NICE medical technology guidance is that UrgoStart is associated with increased wound healing compared with non-interactive dressings and could result in fewer ulcer-related amputations. The committee recognised that the treatment is also associated with significant cost savings for the NHS and improved quality of life for patients.2

Graham Bowen, Clinical Lead for Podiatry, Solent NHS Trust, and Chair of Foot in Diabetes UK said:

This is tremendous news. Diabetes-related foot ulcers are extremely debilitating and can affect every aspect of the person’s life. UrgoStart can significantly reduce the healing time of foot ulcers, and will have a significant impact on thousands of patients living with this condition. As we know, over 90% of all diabetes related amputations are preceded by a single foot ulcer so speeding up the healing process could help prevent many unnecessary amputations. The NICE guidance shows that UrgoStart can have a major impact on clinical outcomes and reduces costs for the NHS which is good news for both patients and healthcare professionals.”

The NICE guidance committee acknowledged the robust clinical studies which ‘showed an increase in the rate of early wound healing with UrgoStart in patients with venous leg ulcers compared with standard treatment’.2

Julie Mullings, Lead Nurse Tissue Viability, Manchester Foundation Trust, said:

 “Patients really suffer both physically and psychologically when they develop an ulcer, significantly affecting their quality of life for many months and sometimes longer. If we can reduce the healing time by using the right treatment at the right time this will achieve the best outcome for the patient. NICE’s decision to support this standardised evidence-based approach to reducing time to heal is great news for nurses as well, as it frees up our time to spend with other patients in need.”

NICE’s decision means that thousands more people with venous leg ulcers and diabetic foot ulcers could benefit from this unique wound treatment.

At any one time 115,000 people in the UK develop a diabetic foot ulcer (DFU), 3,4 and 278,000 people are treated for venous leg ulcers (VLU) every year.5 Leg ulcers and diabetic foot ulcers take an average of 200 days to heal.6

If half of the people with a venous leg ulcer were treated with UrgoStart there would be an annual cost saving of £75 million to the NHS.1,5 If half of the people with a diabetic foot ulcer were treated with UrgoStart, the NHS could save £19.6 million per year.2,3

Lorraine Grothier, Urgo Medical UK Head of Clinical Services said:

We’re absolutely delighted by this recommendation. It is a breakthrough for both clinicians and patients, giving access to an effective wound treatment that reduces healing time. Timely evidence-based treatment of lower limb ulcers is essential, decreasing the demand on limited healthcare resources and enhancing patients’ quality of life.

At Urgo Medical we have an experienced clinical team, who are focused on working in collaboration with the NHS, to help release nursing time and resources by improving healing outcomes, and we look forward to supporting local teams in implementing this new recommendation.”

Mathew Patey CEO of the British Skin Foundation added:

“The British Skin Foundation recognises Urgo Medical as a company that takes clinical research and evidence-based treatments seriously. NICE’s recommendation is testament to this, and we are delighted that more people living with venous leg ulcers and diabetic foot ulcers will get access to this new technology.”

UrgoStart is a lipido-colloid dressing (hydrocellular type) with soft-adherent TLC-NOSF Healing Matrix (NOSF* impregnated in a TLC healing matrix).

UrgoStart (TLC-NOSF) is the only local treatment proven to reduce healing time.7-10 TLC-NOSF acts locally in the wound on the two key factors that impair wound healing. It inhibits excess Matrix Mettaloproteinases (MMPs), which in excess destroy extracellular matrix components; and promotes angiogenesis through migration and proliferation of endothelial cells, to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the wound. 7,11


Notes to editors:


UrgoStart (Urgo Medical) is an interactive dressing for treating diabetic foot ulcers, leg ulcers and pressure ulcers.  It is composed of a unique TLC-NOSF Healing Matrix (NOSF impregnated in a TLC healing matrix), which reduces healing time.

UrgoStart Plus is part of the same treatment range, composed of two exclusive technologies, TLC-NOSF Healing Matrix (NOSF impregnated in a TLC healing matrix) and poly-absorbent fibres. These unique poly-absorbent fibres bind, trap and retain exudate, slough and debris present in the wound, keeping it clean throughout healing. UrgoStart Plus, in addition to reducing healing time, offers simplification of treatment choice: one single solution for all leg ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, pressure ulcers acting from day 1 to complete healing.

There are 5 formats of the dressing and each comes in different sizes: UrgoStart Contact Layer, UrgoStart Non-Adhesive, UrgoStart Border, UrgoStart Plus Pad, and UrgoStart Plus Border.

UrgoStart dressings are Lipido-Colloid Nano-Oligosaccharide Factor (=TLC-NOSF) dressings containing the potassium salt of sucrose octasulfate (KSOS) component. CE marked as a class IIb medical device.

Healing properties:

  • TLC-NOSF dressings are the only local treatment clinically proven to close more wounds and to reduce healing time 7-10
  • TLC-NOSF dressings significantly improve patients’ quality of life 8,10
  • TLC-NOSF dressings are cost effective 12

* NOSF (Nano OligoSaccharide Factor) = KSOS (potassium sucrose octasulfate)

Urgo Medical

Urgo Medical is a global wound care company offering a range of innovative dressings, compression bandages and hosiery, all designed to improve wound healing and patient quality of life.

Urgo Medical believes strongly in evidence based care and prides themselves on their products having the highest level of clinical evidence available. Their focus is working in partnership with healthcare professionals to help move from managing wounds to healing wounds. They offer market-leading education and support through an experienced clinical team to help to improve patient outcomes and reduce healing time.

Urgo Medical’s innovative treatments and services are tailored to patients and healthcare professional needs, providing life changing solutions for wound healing.


The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is the independent body responsible for driving improvement and excellence in health and social care.

It develops national guidance, standards and information on high-quality health and social care to improve outcomes for clinicians and patients.

NICE Medical Technology Guidance aims to help the NHS adopt clinically effective and cost effective technologies quickly.

It is developed by independent committees who review all of the best evidence and expert opinions to turn it into actionable recommendations. The guidance development process includes the review of:

  • Clinical evidence and economic evidence
  • Expert advice and evidence
  • Patient carer organisation advice and evidence
  • Anonymous consultation



For further details:

Please contact Donna Gregory or Karen Rowe Tel 01233 732769
[email protected]           [email protected]
Images available – patient case study; infographic statistics; mode of action images




  1. Data on file
  2. NICE Guidance Medical technology guidance: UrgoStart for treating diabetic foot ulcers and leg ulcers. Available at:
  3. Kerr M. Diabetic Footcare in England: an economic study, January 2017. Insight Health Economics for Diabetes UK.
  4. Diabetes UK prevalence figures. Available at: Last accessed: January 2019.
  5. Guest JF, Ayoub N, McIlwraith T et al. Health economic burden that different wound types impose on the UKs National Health Service. International Wound Journal. 2017. 6: 186-96.
  6. French Health Insurance Report to the Ministry of Health for 2014, July 2013
  7. Edmonds MLázaro-Martínez JLAlfayate-García JMMartini JPetit JMRayman G,Lobmann RUccioli LSauvadet ABohbot SKerihuel JCPiaggesi A. Sucrose octasulfate dressing versus control dressing in patients with neuroischaemic diabetic foot ulcers (Explorer): an international, multicentre, double-blind, randomised, controlled trial. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2018 Mar;6(3):186-196 Available at:
  8. Meaume S, Truchetet F, Cambazard F, et al. A randomized, controlled, double-blind prospective trial with a Lipido-Colloid Technology-Nano-OligoSaccharide Factor wound dressing in the local management of venous leg ulcers. Wound Repair Regen 2012; 20: 4, 500–511
  9. Münter KC, Meaume S, Augustin M, Senet P, Kérihuel J.C. The reality of routine practice: a pooled data analysis on chronic wounds treated with TLC-NOSF wound dressings. J Wound Care. 2017 Feb; 26 (Sup2): S4-S15. Erratum in: J Wound Care. 2017 Mar 2; 26(3): 153
  10. Meaume S, Dompmartin A, Lazareth I, Sigal M, Truchetet F, Sauvadet A, Bohbot S. Quality of life in patients with leg ulcers: results from CHALLENGE, a double-blind randomized controlled trial. Journal of Wound Care. 2017; 26 (7): 368-379.
  11. White, R., Cowan, T., Glover, D. Supporting evidence-based practice: a clinical review of TLC healing matrix (2nd edition). MA Healthcare Ltd, London, 2015.
  12. An Economic Evaluation of UrgoStart® for Patients with Chronic Leg Ulcers in the United Kingdom. York University. Data on file. Urgo, 2011.
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