A department at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust that cares for frail and elderly patients is celebrating a 19-month stint without a severe hospital-acquired pressure ulcer.
For a period of 584 days, no patient cared for by wards and departments in the trust’s Musculoskeletal and Frailty Care Group has developed a severe grade 3 or 4 hospital-acquired ulcer.
“They really deserve a spotlight for taking such pride in their work”
This is yet another milestone for the group in its bid to entirely eliminate hospital-acquired ulcers with a raft of prevention initiatives and a focus on staff training, said the trust.
Cindy Storer, head of nursing and quality for musculoskeletal and frailty, said it was an “outstanding achievement” and a credit to staff.
“Since October 2016, we have been working extremely hard, introducing several fresh initiatives to help maintain our good progress for the benefit of patients,” she said.
She added: “Better education and training is now available for staff, while we have also worked closely with the skin integrity team to develop a Pressure Ulcer Prevention and Management Policy, ensuring that there are clear standards in place for tackling these sores.”
Comprising 14 wards and departments across Doncaster, Bassetlaw and Mexborough, the group was a finalist in the Care of Older People category in the 2017 Nursing Times Awards.
Work to prevent pressure ulcers has included concentrated efforts to raise awareness and engage and motivate staff.
“Work is ongoing to eliminate all hospital acquired pressure ulcers from these areas”
These include displaying “Days Since” signs at the entrance to wards to inform patients and others of when the last avoidable hospital acquired pressure ulcer occurred.
Meanwhile, a new award scheme has been put in place to encourage areas to hit key targets.
The work to prevent pressure ulcers is also supported by projects to encourage patients to move away from their beds and make use of hospital facilities.
Out of the 14 departments in the group, four have gone two years without a grade 3 or 4 hospital-acquired pressure ulcer.
Two others have been free from severe ulcers for three years running while another three are on course to achieve five years without a serious hospital-acquired pressure sore.
The ultimate goal is to eradicate all grades of pressure ulcer and one ward has successfully gone four months without a single hospital-acquired ulcer, said a trust spokesman.
“Meanwhile, all of the other areas have seen reductions and work is ongoing to eliminate all hospital acquired pressure ulcers from these areas,” he told Nursing Times.
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He said learning from the group’s work would be shared across the trust and wider local health and social care system.
Moira Hardy, the trust’s director of nursing and midwifery, said she was proud of staff who went “above and beyond” to achieve the best outcomes for patients.
“I am extremely pleased that we are seeing sustained improvements in patient care,” she said.
“It’s all thanks to the impressive work of our staff, who go above and beyond on a daily basis, putting best practice into action, for the benefit of our patients with their extraordinary dedication and proactive thinking,” she said.
She added: “They really deserve a spotlight for taking such pride in their work and for consistently putting patient safety at the heart of everything they do.”