Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology

Cellulitis Priority Setting Partnership (PSP)


Cellulitis is an acute, painful and potentially serious infection of the skin. It is very common and is often managed in primary care but also accounts for around 2-3% of hospital admissions. Cellulitis is a relatively under-researched topic area. However, the number of people affected by cellulitis and the associated complications of cellulitis alone demonstrate the need for further research into the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of this condition.

To address this, the James Lind Alliance Cellulitis Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) has been set up to identify and prioritise research questions that are important to people with cellulitis (their carers/parents of affected children) and healthcare professionals involved in their care.

The project was funded by the UK Dermatology Clinical Trials Network (UKDCTN) and co‐ordinated by the Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology.


Key Facts

1. What did the PSP do? 

The Cellulitis PSP held its first meeting in January 2016 and the final workshop took place in April 2017.

Surveys were used to help identify questions that patients, carers or clinicians have about the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cellulitis.

A summary of the whole process is shown below:

  • Survey 1 Collection survey - asking for uncertainties in the treatment and prevention of cellulitis from patients, carers and health
  • Uncertainties collated Responses to survey used to identify true uncertainties.
  • Survey 2 Ranking survey – most frequently raised questions about uncertainties to be ranked in order of importance 
  • Final workshop - The Partnership invites patients and healthcare providers to attend a workshop to discuss the most frequently asked questions.
  • Top 10 uncertainties Information is published and developed in to research proposals so that future research focuses on the most important questions.
2. Who was involved?

The partner organisations involved in promoting the Cellulitis PSP:

•    UK Dermatology Clinical Trials Network (UKDCTN)

•    British Association of Dermatologists (BAD)

•    Primary Care Dermatology Society

•    British Society for Medical Dermatology

•    Lymphoedema Support Network (LSN)

•    British Lymphology Society

•    Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) UK

•    Children’s Lymphoedema Special Interest Group

•    Leg Ulcer Forum

•    Royal College of General Practitioners

•    General Practice Research on Infections Network

•    Society for Academic Primary Care

•    Royal College of Emergency Medicine

•    British Infections Association

•    Leg Clubs

3. What were the results of the study? 

The top 20 uncertainties were discussed in a whole day face-to-face workshop including patients and healthcare professionals. The final agreed rank order is available to view here.

The cellulitis research priorities webpage shows the priorities in order of topic (diagnosis, treatment and prevention).


4. What will happen to the results of the study? 

The uncertainties that were identified during this project will be published on the JLA website and used to inform future research funding. The results will be made available on this website as well as through partner organisations’ websites and social media. We will also publish the results in the scientific press. We will also make funding bodies aware of the Top 10 questions to help raise the profile of cellulitis research.


Further information

For further information about the process of Priority Setting Partnerships please see the James Lind Alliance website.





Partner Organisations



Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology

The University of Nottingham
Applied Health Research Building
University Park, Nottingham

telephone: +44 (0) 115 84 68631
email: cebd@nottingham.ac.uk