Praise for a reduction in pressure wounds at West Sussex hospital

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MORE wards at a Chichester hospital have ensured no patients suffered avoidable ‘pressure wounds’ throughout an entire year.

Across Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs St Richard’s Hospital, 37 wards have earned entry into the ‘365 club’, having protected their patients from avoidable pressure wounds – a category which includes bed sores and ulcers – for 2013.

All 37 have been given their Gold Award certificates, up from 31 wards in 2012.

The awards were presented by Cathy Stone, the trust’s director of nursing and patient safety.

Silver awards were given to wards achieving 200 consecutive days with no avoidable pressure injuries, and bronze awards to those managing 100 days.

Karen Penhallow, the trust’s tissue viability clinical nurse specialist, said: ‘Staff are now aware of what they need to do – good practice is embedded into the culture – and able to give the right care to their patients.

‘It is not just about moving patients regularly – it goes much wider than that and includes, for example, nutritional support and incontinence management as well.’

The trust has also gone a year without any grade three or four pressure wounds – the most serious type.

Ms Stone said: ‘The progress we have seen in promoting good skin care throughout the trust has been superb.

‘Sadly, it is increasingly commonplace for us to admit patients every month who already suffer from pressure ulcers before they reach us, but it is clear that trust staff have both the skills and the commitment required to give high-quality care to an increasingly frail patient population.’