Views are being sought on a new set of standards for pressure ulcer care across both community and hospital settings in Scotland.
The draft care standards, titled Prevention and Management of Pressure Ulcers Draft Standards, have been put out for consultation today by Healthcare Improvement Scotland.
They apply to health and social care settings, including care at home services, care homes and prisons, and to all patients at risk of, or with, pressure ulcers – regardless of age.
Six areas are covered by the standards, including risk assessment, ulcer assessment and reassessment, education and training, care planning and leadership.
They state, for example, that education and training on prevention and management should be “mandatory” for all healthcare and social care staff involved in pressure ulcer care.
In addition, they call for risk assessments to be undertaken as part of initial admission or referral, with regular reassessments undertaken to “ensure safe, effective and person-centred care”.
“These draft standards present the most up-to-date evidence… that will help reduce the risk of people developing pressure damage”
Patient with an identified pressure ulcer should receive a “person-centred assessment, grading of the pressure ulcer and care plan”, according to the draft standards.
Dr Sara Twaddle, director of evidence for HIS, said: “This is the first time that our standards will apply across both health and social care settings, reflecting the move towards integration of services.
“Pressure ulcers can be a major source of distress within hospitals and the community, and we look forward to hearing people’s views on how we can better shape services to keep people across our communities safe from harm,” she added.
Heather Hodgson, lead tissue viability nurse for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, is a member of the project group that developed the standards.
She said: “These draft standards present the most up-to-date evidence on the services and care that will help reduce the risk of people developing pressure damage.
“I would urge people to read them. All the comments we receive will be used to shape the final standards published later this year,” she said.
“This is the first time that our standards will apply across both health and social care settings”
The Scottish Patient Safety Programme, which is co-ordinated by HIS, has set an aim to reduce harm from pressure ulcers by 50% in hospitals and care homes by December 2017.
Previous work on the area by HIS and its predecessor, NHS Quality Improvement Scotland, has included a national integrated tissue viability programme, a tissue viability toolkit and a best practice statement for prevention and management of pressure ulcers.
The best practice statement combined two previously separate documents originally drafted by the National Association of Tissue Viability Nurses in Scotland.