There have been changes at Leeds General Infirmary since nursing failures led to the death of an 86-year-old war veteran from pressure ulcers three years ago, says RCN regional officer Janine Dyson.
Ms Dyson’s assurance follows the award of £20,000 by Leeds hospitals to the family of Kenneth Ballinger, who suffered from extensive pressure ulcers, some the size of a fist.
She reports that the problem of pressure ulcers has since been picked up by regional health authorities, which have emphasised the priority of dignity in care.
Her comments follow a statement by Maureen Idle, spokeswoman for watchdog Leeds Hospital Alert and herself a former nurse, that preventing bed sores is basic nursing.
She has stressed that nurses must take extra care with older patients, who are less mobile than younger people.
She says: “There is no excuse for anyone of any age to have pressure ulcers, especially now you have got the lifting equipment. This is basic nursing skills and it should not happen on any ward.
“I don’t think you need specialist training. The fact that these people are less able and less mobile needs that extra care. It is basic nursing care. I think there should be more practical nursing now than theory.”