Southampton – The destination for TVS 2019 – The Conference

Welcome to the TVS October blog written by Fran Spratt, Lead Nurse Tissue Viability, University Hospitals Southampton NHS Foundation Trust and TVS Trustee

After another extremely successful and thought provoking Tissue Viability Society conference in 2018, we are now reflecting and planning the Conference for 2019, which is already taking shape and looks like it will be the best yet. The TVS Conference moves around each year, locating in many different areas to give the best chance for the clinicians local to the venue to attend, as well as showcase the good work that’s going on all around the country. After 2018 in Newcastle, in 2019 we are heading to the south coast, to sunny Southampton.

Why Southampton?

Now you may ask yourself what has Southampton got to offer? I live just outside Southampton which is the largest city in Hampshire, and work in University Hospitals Southampton NHS Foundation Trust and so you would think I would know loads about this great city but I have to be honest when asking myself the question, why here? I did struggle at first but actually when you start to research it, it’s a pretty amazing place.

To begin with however, I do have to clear up a little point of confusion about Southampton, which did come to light when  the venue was announced and I apologise but although we are on the coast we do not have a beach!  We do have a more pleasant climate compared with some more northern cities (well occasionally anyway) but no beach. Just along the south coast you wouldn’t be disappointed if you visited Bournemouth which is just a short drive away though and has an amazing beach!

Why is Southampton famous?       

Southampton  is a port city and many holiday makers start their world explorations from the docks here, which play host to the largest cruise ships from around the world. This is a huge part of the city’s economy and sees many visitors  coming to the city all year round. The history of Southampton is strongly linked with ships and shipbuilding, with the Titanic sailing her maiden voyage from Southampton. (Not sure that’s a selling point when discussing cruise ships but hopefully it doesn’t put anyone off!)

R J Mitchell, the designer of the spitfire aircraft also lived in Southampton, and in 1936 the prototype took off for its first flight from what is now known as Southampton airport. The main production of the aircraft also took place in Woolston within the city throughout the war.

We have some famous people who originate from Southampton including the singer Craig David and Will Champion, the drummer from Cold Play. For those of you of a certain age, Benny Hill lived here as did the naturalist Chris Packham, and for any foodies Shelina Permalloo, Masterchef winner 2012 has a Mauritian restaurant in the city.

The city also has strong links to sport, for example we host the Hampshire County Cricket club at the Ageas bowl as well as Southampton football club, known as the ‘Saints’ who play at St Mary’s Stadium, most apt as this is the venue for TVS 2019 – The Conference as well! The stadium became the home of the football club in 2001 and was purpose built so is a great venue with excellent accessibility and facilities.

Southampton is easy to get to!

Being in the middle of the south coast we are extremely lucky to have multiple ways to get to the city, so don’t let any distance put you off. As mentioned above, there is an airport which is very accessible and flies to numerous internal destinations including Manchester, Leeds/Bradford, Newcastle, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Belfast, Dublin and Cork – often worth looking at as can be a lot cheaper and quicker than a train. Saying that, we do have excellent rail networks with several stations and there are also good road links, with the city being at the bottom of the M3 and a little from the end of the M27. No excuses, therefore, not to sign up for the conference as soon as possible.

Southampton’s Hospital and University links

I am lucky enough to work at an amazing hospital in Southampton University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The hospital provides services to some 1.9 million people living in Southampton and south Hampshire, plus specialist services such as neurosciences, cardiac services and children’s intensive care to more than 3.7 million people in central southern England and the Channel Islands. The Trust is also a major centre for teaching and research in association with the University of Southampton and partners include the Medical Research Council and Wellcome Trust. The Medical Devices and Vulnerable skin network (MDVSN) was developed within Southampton University to integrate the expertise available and introduce cutting edge technologies to reduce the incidence of chronic wounds arising from interventional medical devices. There is also a strong network of Tissue Viability nurses within teams in the local hospitals and community trusts all collaborating in joint working to make the patient journey the best we can.

TVS 2019 – The Conference, 1-2 May 2019

The Tissue Viability Society conference aims to bring together all clinicians from a multitude of disciplines to update them on the most up to date research and best practice evidence so they can continually improve the care given to their patients and clients. The sessions are not sponsored by industry, although industry play a huge role in the conference with a large exhibition of products to inspire thought and progress within practice.

The TVS website ( gives lots of information on how you can attend the conference and we also have some educational grants to apply for which cover the cost of the attendance at the conference as well as travel and accommodation if required.

We are passionate about quality care for patients but also about making a confident and competent team. The conference is aimed at all clinicians whatever area you work in, as tissue viability is a day to day issue presenting itself as wounds and issues with skin integrity know no boundaries and affect people in all walks of life.

How TVS Conferences have helped me

When I was first in post as a New Tissue Viability Nurse, the Tissue Viability Society was invaluable for support and information.  In our busy working lives keeping up with National and International advancements is hard work. This conference was the first I had been to that was not only informative about the national strategies but also shared real examples of good practice, presented by the front line staff who were undertaking them. Sharing this excellent work gave me inspiration to make changes locally and stopped me thinking that I had to keep reinventing the wheel. Adapting and acknowledging this good work undertaken in so many areas means that we have the knowledge and motivation to actually implement and improve practice as we can see it is achievable.

I have to say I learn something new that I can take back and consider in my practice at every Tissue Viability Society conference I attend. I see such amazing enthusiasm for advancing wound care from presenters and I know this year in Southampton I won’t be disappointed. We have excellent support from all the local healthcare providers and a great excitement that it is in the south!