A project aimed at reducing pressure ulcers in hospital will see every nurse at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust given a pocket mirror.
As part of the national Sign up to Safety initiative, the trust has pledged to reduce the number of avoidable grade 3 pressure ulcers by 50% and avoidable grade 4 pressure ulcers to zero in the next three years.
Tissue viability nurses Carole Linfoot and Judith Barnard successfully applied for funding from the trust via a “Dragons Den” style scheme, in which they had to pitch their mirror idea.
Their bid centred on the need to reduce the number of pressure ulcers at the trust as well as educating staff on the grades of pressure ulcers and how to recognise moisture lesions and suspected deep tissue injuries.
Under the scheme, every nurse will receive a pocket mirror so they can carry out regular skin assessments to help identify early on any signs of deterioration in skin integrity and recognise pressure ulcers, deep tissue injury and moisture lesions.
The mirrors will help them to check vulnerable areas like heels, elbows, back of the head and toes while maintaining their patient’s dignity. It will also help prevent musculoskeletal damage to staff.
Ms Barnard said: “Early inspection means early detection of a problem, then care can be provided at the right time to minimise the risk of skin and tissue damage.”
The two clinical nurse specialists will also be spending some of the funds on education and training tools for staff to help them distinguish between grades of ulcers.
Latest board papers reveal a steady rise over recent months in the number of pressure ulcers obtained by patients after admission to the trust’s hospitals.
There were 50 grade 2-4 pressure ulcers acquired during hospital stays at the trust in January. This included 35 grade 2s, 13 grade 3s and 4 grade 4s.
This compared to 43 grade 2-4 ulcers in December, 32 in November and 27 in October.