Prevention is the key for specialist Nurse group

Posted: June 11, 2012

Nurses organise a Pressure Ulcer Awareness Week

A local group of Nurses have come together to highlight the importance of preventing pressure ulcers, and organised a dedicated Pressure Ulcer Awareness Week from 18th - 24th June 2012.

The awareness week involves the work of a large group of Tissue Viability Specialist Nurses from the Wiltshire, Swindon and Bath and North East Somerset communities, along with nurses from Great Western Hospital (GWH) and Royal United Hospital in Bath (RUH).

A pressure ulcer is sometimes called a bed sore or pressure sore; it is damage which has occurred to the skin as a result of prolonged pressure.  Pressure ulcers can affect up to 10% per cent of patients admitted to acute hospitals in the UK and also affect patients who are cared for in the community.

As part of their Pressure Ulcer Awareness Week, the group have developed the MOVE campaign which seeks to outline the important issues relating to pressure ulcer prevention:Movement, Observation, Voicing concerns, Eating well, and seeking Education.

Gill Wicks, Tissue Viability Consultant Nurse, works in the Community Tissue Viability Service at Trowbridge Hospital, she said:

"We take a proactive approach to reducing pressure ulcers.  In 2011/12 we successfully reduced the number of pressure ulcers by 10% in the community, and at GWH pressure ulcers were reduced by 20% for 2011/12.  Education and training about pressure ulcers is the key to prevention and this is why we decided to organise the awareness week." 

"During the week we are holding two lunchtime open events for community staff in Salisbury and Devizes and we will also have a stand in the Atrium reception at GWH to promote the week to staff, patients and visitors."

Specific posters and patient information leaflets have been created to highlight the importance of checking for pressure ulcers, who is more likely to be at risk, correct skin care and who patients should contact if they have concerns. 

This information will available at the open events, and as part of the campaign the information is also being distributed to GP surgeries, hospital wards, care homes, and to patients who are cared for by community nurses in their own homes.

 Gill continues:  "We hope by making this information readily available in hospital and out in the community we will help heighten the importance of pressure ulcer prevention, particularly for at risk patients.  Pressure ulcers can be painful and debilitating, but with early and effective intervention by patients themselves and those involved in their care, they can be prevented."

Further information about Tissue Viability Services at GWH and in the community is available here

You may also want to visit the Tissue Viability Society's website at www.tvs.org.uk,  they aim to provide expertise in wound management to all healthcare professionals.

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