Keeping up the pressure on pressure ulcers

Latest figures show not a single patient at the Lister or QEII hospitals acquired a pressure ulcer (also known as a bed sore) in December 2013.

Back in 2011, the Trust signed up to a national initiative to reduce the number of patients acquiring pressure ulcers in hospital. A small team of specialist nurses work with ward staff to identify the patients most at risk and take steps to prevent them developing pressure ulcers.

There are some wards that have gone for several years without a pressure ulcer, but this is the first time the whole Trust has been for a month without a single avoidable hospital-acquired pressure ulcer.

Dianne Brett, lead tissue viability nurse, said, ‘The whole team has worked together to virtually wipe out the pressuretissue viability nurses ulcers that can be avoided. This means that patients are getting better quicker and going home faster – which is better for them and means that we can, overall, see more patients. We’re tremendously proud of this achievement by our nurses, and all those who support them. It’s a real change in how we work and is making a fantastic difference to our patients.’

Nick Carver, chief executive said, ‘A generation ago, pressure ulcers – or bed sores as they were known then – were considered a fact of life when patients were unable to get out of bed for a long time. Pressure ulcers are painful, and can mean that a patient needs to spend much longer in hospital. Thanks to new understanding and ways of working, this latest set of figures demonstrates once again how our nurses and the wider team are delivering ever-improving care.’