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Trust trains HCAs to spot early pressure ulcer signs

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Healthcare assistants at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals are being trained to focus on spotting the early warning signs of pressure ulcers, under a new education programme.

The React to Red training programme is the latest strategy that skin integrity nurses are using to protect their patients from ulcers at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

In the last year, the trust said it had seen the number of pressure ulcers fall by 49.5%, with just 52 patients developing an ulcer in the past 12 months.

During training, HCAs were taught about skin inspection, risk factors, skin care, the importance of moving patients with limited mobility, nutrition, hydration and the different types of pressure ulcers, treatment options and reporting.

The three-month course was sponsored by NHS England and delivered by the trust’s skin integrity nurses, with a total of 24 HCAs trained from the St Leger ward at Doncaster Royal Infirmary and wards A4 and B5 at Bassetlaw Hospital.

Rachel Carmody, skin integrity React to Red project nurse, said: “We want to continue our success in reducing pressure ulcers across the trust and recognise the key role that health care assistants play in helping us to achieve this.

“This training has equipped them with the know-how and confidence to react to red skin and alert a tissue viability nurse,” she said. “It has also provided an extra layer of protection on the wards with more staff looking out for our patients.”

Mike Oldfield, an HCA who has just completed the course, said: “This training has given me the opportunity to take ownership of the care of patients and will hopefully help reduce pressure ulcers at the trust.”

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Readers' comments (1)

  • red skin can be already too late to prevent pressure sores developing. It used to be called bad nursing. Why is it not now because that is what it is, bad nursing or bad care.

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