Hospital-acquired pressure ulcers – also known as bed sores – on the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust’s inpatient wards are now at an all-time low. In 2010, pressure ulcers were reported at the rate of one nearly every day. Just seven years later, one occurs every two weeks (in 2017 there were just 31 cases reported across the whole 12 months).
It has been six years since the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust recorded the most severe form of pressure ulcer – called a grade four. At the same time, over half of wards at the Lister hospital have not had a hospital-acquired pressure ulcer in over a year.
The Trust’s lead tissue viability nurse, Dianne Brett, said: “For most of our patients, there is so much that can be done to prevent pressure ulcers being acquired when in hospital. What many of us forget is that our skin is an organ and like any other organ in the body, it is prone to failure – especially in older patients who may have many health problems already. Our much improved performance means that patients are able to recover more quickly and go back home following their hospital admission – with the real benefit being the number of people for whom life returns to as normal as possible.
Picture: Left to right: patient, Rebecca Vistartas; Joanna Walker, tissue viability clinical nurse specialist; Bridget Pykerman, tissue viability nurse; and Dianne Brett, lead tissue viability nurse