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Safety Collaborative reduces the pressure

A hospital trust is working with care homes across the community to tackle the problem of pressure ulcers.

Anyone who sits or lies down for prolonged periods of time, such as those confined to bed, risk developing a pressure ulcer.

Ulcers can be painful and lead to serious infection.

One in five patients in UK hospitals suffers from a pressure ulcer – commonly known as bed sores.

People aged 70+ are particularly vulnerable, as they are more likely to have mobility problems and ageing skin.

Southport and Ormskirk NHS Hospital Trust launched a Patient Safety Collaborative in June 2015 to tackle the problem.

The initiative sees the Trust working with partners to prevent pressure ulcers in care homes and also within the hospital. The collaborative brings together private care homes and clinicians from across the Trust.

Dominic Williams, tissue viability nurse specialist, said: “The common goal is to share best practice and also develop new ways to tackle pressure ulcers.

“It’s about better awareness of those patients most at risk and taking steps to prevent them developing ulcers in the first place. We are training our staff and developing better systems to keep pressure ulcers away.

“It’s been especially rewarding to be talking to care homes as we can all share ideas on best ways to tackle the problem.”

Park Grove Care Home in Burscough is an active member of the Patient Safety Collaborative. It has recently been commended by the Care Quality Commission for its work to reduce pressure ulcers.

Park Grove’s registered manager, Angie Finnigan said: “We’ve gained such a lot from joint working with the Trust to reduce pressure ulcers. We meet regularly and the group is a really great forum for agencies to meet, learn and improve.”

On 12 October a Patient Safety Collaborative summit takes place at Southport Hospital in the Clinical Education building. The event (1-4.30pm) is an opportunity to showcase all the areas from the Trust and care home partners who have been working to reduce pressure ulcers.

Care home managers are welcome to attend: contact louise.hicks@nhs.net

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