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Call to make pressure ulcer care 'sexy'

A campaign to reduce avoidable pressure ulcers in acute hospitals by 50% is set to be rolled out across England this winter.

Stop The Pressure will use social media to raise awareness of pressure ulcer prevention and allow nurses to share resources and examples of good practice using the hashtag #stopthepressure.

It builds on the Stop the Pressure campaign developed in the Midlands and East NHS region in 2012-2013 which aimed to eliminate avoidable category 2, 3 and 4 pressure ulcers. So far the region has achieved a 49% reduction.

There will also be a series of Stop the Pressure events for student nurses, the first of which was held in Lincoln last week and attended by about 500 registered nurses and students.

Speaking at the event, United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust’s lead tissue viability nurse Mark Collier, said: “My ambition is that pressure ulcers become sexy. Not that we all want one, but that we all want to prevent them.

“Everyone wants to look at a cardiac case, but it is harder to get people interested in pressure ulcers.”

Stop the Pressure Lincolnshire was the brainchild of student nurse Charlotte Johnson who said it was “overwhelming” to see her idea to increase awareness of pressure ulcer prevention come to fruition.

NHS Improving Quality, which is running the campaign in partnership with NHS England, and health improvement centre Haelo, is seeking other enthusiastic students to take part in events.

The campaign will also actively share tools, case studies, blogs and latest thinking on pressure ulcer prevention on the websitewww.stopthepressure.com

It is also linking up with NHS Change Day 2014 to ask people to pledge changes they are going to make to prevent a pressure ulcer.

Readers' comments (18)

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  • Anonymous | 22-Oct-2013 9:34 am

    Couldn't agree more.

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  • totally stupid and won't appeal to many older people.

    it is amazing what these young people dream up without any idea of the needs of the elderly.

    as a manager guru recently said it is not about treating others the way you wish to be treated but treating them the way they wish to be treated - in the case of senior citizens that is with respect!

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  • Brainchild of a student nurse?
    Sorry but this is basic nursing, as is making sure your patient is well nourished, hydrated , pain free, concerns listened to, helped if necessary to use the toilet and mobilised when possible. Then ensuring important charts are fully completed and up to date.

    What exactly is being taught (or not ) these days?



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  • that's right food,fluids, extra nourisment mobilising that's it bob's your uncle it's a wrap oh don't forget all the carts to go with it yep that's wot we do!!

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  • Make pressure ulcers 'sexy' is this really where nursing is going ?Preventing pressure ulcers are part of essential care .We really should not need to make them 'sexy' in order to know or do this .

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  • I think you have misunderstood. Making pressure ulcers sexy is about getting all levels of seniority within the NHS and other healthcare settings interested in preventing them. Traditionally this has not been the case. Nurses have always been interested and seen it as their role to prevent them - but was that working? No. Patients were still getting pressure ulcers (and are all over the world) and this wasn't due to, on the main part, nursing neglect. NHS Midlands and East created an interest in their prevention via the stop the pressure campaign and this got the attention of chief execs down within all organisations down. They all came to care about their prevention. They made it onto board agendas. Resources, staffing and education were provided at all levels. The result? in our organisation we have seen an over 60% reduction in avoidable pressure ulcers in 2 years. Charlotte Johnson is not being credited here with thinking up the idea of preventing pressure ulcers - she was the brainchild behind a student conference aimed at student nurses specifically about pressure ulcer prevention. Charlotte found herself, through her tweeting, being a member of the Keogh review teams and this fuelled her passion about pressure ulcer prevention and sharing this knowledge and passion. This is to be commended - not criticised.

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  • Heidi Sandoz (Guy) | 23-Oct-2013 7:18 am

    matter of opinion



    "This is to be commended - not criticised."

    so is the work of thousands of nurses who work hard daily to prevent and treat decubitus ulcers!

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  • I have not criticised the work of Charlotte Johnson .She is a fantastic role model for student nurses.Passionate and committed!

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  • Heidi Sandoz (Guy) | 23-Oct-2013 7:18 am

    What did the boards do that the nurse on the wards didn't? What exactly contributed to the 60% improvement? Was this a genuine improvement or an exercise in box ticking?

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  • Heidi Sandoz (Guy) | 23-Oct-2013 7:18 am

    Charlotte Johnson is not being credited here with thinking up the idea of preventing pressure ulcers - she was the brainchild behind a student conference aimed at student nurses specifically about pressure ulcer prevention.

    In the old days we learnt about this during our training and gained experience working on the wards.

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  • Heidi Sandoz (Guy) | 23-Oct-2013 7:18 am

    "This is to be commended - not criticised."

    The views of others here are legitimate and it is not your place to to dictate just how anyone should react to this article.

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  • As a student nurse in my third year it is frustrating and demoralising to hear people critisizing nurse education. Of particular concern are comments such as 'what excactly is being taught these days'

    50% of our time is spent in placement working in clinical areas providing essential care to our patients. We are caring, compassionate and we do what is best for our patients. Our practice is based on up to date evidence, as the profession has (hopefully) moved on from the ideaology of 'in my day' or 'this is how weve always done it'

    The other 50% of the time is spent studying subjects such as anatomy and physology, and pharmacology, much as you did 'in the old days' as you describe it, with the exception that now we are expected to study at graduate level.

    I agree completely that the elderly deserve respect, but not because they are old but because they are human beings. Your comments about 'these young people' are surely disrespectful?

    In this day and age there are many different ways of sharing information and raising awareness. Surely this can only be a good thing?

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  • bicker bicker bicker bicker bicker.....

    Change the record!

    Sexy eh?......who the funk uses 'sexy' in this concept?

    tell you what....when you have all stopped trying to flex your little muscles about who has had the best training, recognition or best practice, then come back to 'planet nurse' (and yes...it's a real place before you say owt..) and we can all get on with something a bit more important.


    (cue the weak responses.....see below)

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  • Anonymous | 23-Oct-2013 10:16 pm

    I wouldn't take it so personally. It has always been thus. There have always been concerns about Nurse education, there always will be. I accepted the education and training that was available to me at the time. That was rather out of my hands. I never bothered about the criticism of others. It's my job to be the best nurse I can be and take responsibility for improving.

    I have never bought this argument about the old v the new. Both are wrong if they think their way of training was better. They both have their strengths and their faults. Many who trained under the old system subsequently gained their degrees and further quals, so know about what is being taught in the graduate course. If only we could take the best of both, then we might find more agreement.

    One thing that has never changed regardless of training is the enthusiasm and courage of most students, which is why I love being a mentor.

    As far as making 'pressure ulcer care 'sexy'? Now that really is a crock. Any message the authors were trying to get across has been lost with a daft headline.

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  • Anonymous | 23-Oct-2013 10:16 pm

    sorry my comment was poorly expressed and I was just referring to this one idea in the article and the way in general that the elderly are often treated as if they are some separate entity from another planet.

    I agree with your comment entirely as well as that of Mags and make no distinctions about nurse education being better now or earlier although obviously there are differences and some aspects of care which are considered by many better previously than they are now but mainly due to differences in organisation and staffing levels and their availability. There are obviously also many great improvements with advances in knowledge and technology which was not previously available. However, I would obviously offer constructive criticism and support to those clearly not up to the standard required of them but I would never criticise anyone for the training we have received which is so diverse across the different eras and much of it not of the individual's choosing. to do serves no useful purpose and just puts people in an uncomfortable position. there are however a few very basic and essential skills which one would expect nurses to be trained to do or at least justify with good evidence why this is no longer the case.

    I also believe in the importance of open and transparent communications by every available medium and throughout every level of the organisation and treating everybody and listening to them with respect and responding appropriately which would eliminate many of the problems seen in the NHS today and greatly reduce the need for 'whistle-blowing' which is usually a sign that things have got out of hand and are far more difficult, if possible before some great damage is done, to put right.

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  • Surely it's good to promote good practice? Anyone who thinks they are too old/experienced/clever to need updating/reminding about pressure ulcer care is either arrogant or stupid. Unless you have a photographic memory, you are not going to remember everything all the time. It's not possible. And unless you are in the same job, in the same setting for the whole of your nursing career, you are not going to be doing the same thing day in day out and be an expert, you are going to forget some of what you were taught/used to do. So yes, this is a good thing. There is nothing negative about it.

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  • Anonymous | 25-Oct-2013 1:38 pm

    "There is nothing negative about it."

    Based on the comments following this article, the evidence is to the contrary. No one has actually said anything against promoting good practice, as you so arrogantly and inaccurately suggest. All that is happening is that you don't agree with the view others have taken. That is something quite different.

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