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'Consider what you can do to reduce incidences of pressure ulcers'

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November 2014 is the first ever ‘Stop the Pressure’ month.

There has been a phenomenal amount of work done to reduce avoidable pressure ulcers since the launch of ‘Stop the Pressure’ in 2012.

In the first year of the campaign, providers in the Midlands and East of England achieved a 50% reduction in new pressure ulcers, an achievement that I am extremely proud of and this couldn’t have been achieved without the support, motivation, energy and commitment of a great number of clinicians and board members.

I feel very honoured to have been awarded an MBE for my role in this and for my services to the nursing profession; and it couldn’t be more appropriate that I will be receiving this on 14th November, right in the midst of PU November 2014.

Stop the Pressure month

Throughout this November, there is a range of activity planned for teams to get involved in and the highlight of the month is World Pressure Day on 20th November. We will be marking this day by hosting a National ‘Stop the Pressure’ Conference in London, in partnership with the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

The conference will bring together professionals who can influence and make a contribution to this in their care environment. It will focus on change; how have people changed their practice and the systems, processes and procedures that support delivery of their service; and importantly the improvements they have seen as a result.

We will also be asking individuals to make a commitment about what they will do within their service to improve practice and deliver ongoing improvement.

Care homes

So as we move into the next phase of work, we are engaging with the Care Home Sector and nursing professionals who work in these settings; as this is a key area where the learning from ‘Stop the Pressure’ can also make a massive difference to the patient and carer experience. Many care homes already have excellent systems and procedures in place and we want to learn from this good practice, sharing resources and learning.

The care homes project will include setting up a specific page on the website to share resources, good practice and provide training and support. We are looking for early adopters in this sector to work with us in implementing the SSKIN and ‘Love Great Skin’ initiatives; and in measuring the impact on their patients as part of the campaign.

“We need to support our community nurses and educate patients, families and carers”

Additionally, we need to support our community nurses and educate patients, families and carers about how they can help those being cared for at home by learning to recognise the early warning signs. This is a challenge from patients and carers themselves, wanting more information and support.

It has been a very exciting programme to lead, we have come a long way in reducing pressure ulcers and improving patient experience and I am proud to have been part of the improvement programme.

My plea now to all nurses is to consider what you can also do to make a difference and help us to sustain the progress on a national level – so please get involved.

Lyn McIntyre MBE (Deputy Director of Patient Experience NHS Midlands and East)

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