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Bosses winning bed sore battle
BOSSES who run Worcestershire’s five community hospitals are the best in the region when it comes to beating bed sores.
Malvern, Pershore, Evesham, Tenbury and Bromsgrove are the best performing when it comes to preventing painful pressure ulcers, say health chiefs.
From April to September of this year, the NHS Safety Thermometer initiative measured the amount of all pressure ulcers on patients.
The county’s trust recorded 51, well below the national average of 85, making it the top performing trust locally over the period.
As part of the nationwide measuring initiative, patients with pressure ulcers are counted on a single day each month in all types of NHS organisations.
Jackie Stephen-Haynes, professor and consultant nurse in tissue viability, said: “Leadership, vision and a clear strategy for the prevention and management of pressure ulcers has been provided both clinically and managerially.
“This has been supported throughout the organisation from trust board to all clinical care delivery areas.
“These results are very encouraging in achieving the ambition of eliminating avoidable pressure ulcers but there is more work to do and it is everyone’s business in health to help us achieve this.”
A pressure ulcer is the new name for what many may know as a bed sore and refers to an area of localised damage to the skin and underlying tissue damage caused by pressure, movement, friction and or a combination of these.
They can be very serious but can be prevented in 95 per cent of the time.
For several years now the trust and its regional governing body, the Strategic Health Authority, have focused on the prevention of pressure ulcers.
The prevention of pressure ulcers not only improves quality in care but also has a significant financial impact.
This month marks the beginning of £500 fines for NHS trusts which report grade three or four pressure ulcers.
Pressure ulcers are graded from one (the most superficial kind) which involves a slight reddening of the skin to a deep, grade four ulcer which can involve an exposed bone or tendon. A good diet can help them heal more quickly or even prevent them developing in the first place as can turning a patient or encouraging them to shift position.