Healthcare professionals are accountable for providing safe and effective care to prevent pressure ulcers. Pressure ulcers are recognised as a patient harm, as they can cause pain and affect quality of life and general health and wellbeing. In certain circumstances pressure ulcers can result in infection, amputation, delayed discharge from hospital or ongoing community care and sometimes death. Pressure ulcers can also have financial implications on the individual and the NHS as a whole.
It is important for all healthcare professionals to work collaboratively and engage with risk assessments of patients and the five principles of pressure ulcer prevention. These are:
When these key principles are implemented pressure ulcers can be avoided. The duty of candour must be applied for all serious pressure ulcer incidents and an investigation must take place to identify cause or gaps in care. If there are any gaps in care, lessons must be learnt and shared to avoid reoccurrence. If there are any concerns regarding omissions to patients care, refer to your local safeguarding policy or contact your safeguarding team for advice.
The three priorities for the Stop the Pressure programme board:
The three workstreams for the Expert Working Group:
Academic Health Science Network
Academic Health Science Networks (AHSN) have been established to deliver a step change in the way the NHS identifies, develops and adopts new technologies and are based on partnership working and collaboration between the NHS, academia, the private sector and other external partners within a single AHSN context and across AHSNs.
There are 4 core objectives for the AHSNs:
West Midlands Tissue Viability Nurse Association
Chair: Lisa Turley
Chair: Sarah Pankhurst
East of England
Chair: Liam Horkan
Welsh Wound Collaborative
Chair: Kirsty Mahoney
NATVNs (London and South
Chair: Kumar Rajpaul
East Midlands initiatives are predominantly the Wound care collaborative. As a region we have thoroughly evaluated wound care products and produced a list to work with NHS supply chain.
Pressure Ulcers to Zero, a large scale improvement healthcare collaborative began in February 2014. The primary aim of this collaborative was to reduce the incidence of avoidable pressure ulcers within the former Dublin North East (DNE) region and to increase the capacity and capability of frontline clinical teams to improve the care they deliver.
Resources to support professionals can be found within the resources section