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National award recognition for Tissue Viability Team

Bassetlaw Tissue Viability Team

An initiative, which has seen a high reduction in avoidable pressure ulcers in care homes through improving knowledge and skills with care home staff, has been shortlisted in the Staff Engagement category of the Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards.

The Trust's Tissue Viability Team has been recognised for engaging with staff in care homes to improve the outcomes for vulnerable care home residents.

Recognising a need to improve training and support to local care home staff the Tissue Viability Team devised several initiatives to equip staff with skills to reduce the incidents of avoidable pressure ulcers.

  • The team developed a Link Champion network. Staff were identified from each home who would attend regular network meetings to increase their knowledge and would be responsible for sharing best practices across the care homes. 
  • React To Red, a bespoke training resource, was developed in 2014 by the team for use in care homes as previously staff could not access appropriate training. Residents were involved in the development and filming of the training DVD and continue to be involved in care home initiatives individual to each home. Bassetlaw Clinical Commissioning group funded the initial cost of developing the training resource.
  • The CHASE awards (Care Home Achievement Success Event), an annual awards ceremony for care homes, was set up to recognise care home achievements. This has been a huge motivator to care staff who often receive little recognition for the fantastic work they do.

The most significant results from the start of the initiative have seen:

  • an 87% reduction in avoidable pressure ulcers in the targeted care homes since 2014.
  • all 60 Link Champions deemed competent in prevention and management of pressure ulcers and aware of their responsibility to assess their staff. This has led to other common problems being addressed impacting on hospital admission avoidance, quality of life and financial savings. There is also clear evidence of improving leadership skills within the care home sector as a result of support from the Tissue Viability Team.
  • over 6000 copies of the React to Red resource rolled out widely across the country which was funded by the East Midlands Academic Health Science Network and NHS England.

A further training resource in the ‘React to’ series around incontinence associated dermatitis is in the final stage of development and launches this month.  The East Midlands Academic Health Science Network funded the resource, which will further support staff in care homes.

Karen McEwan, Quality Improvement Matron, said: “We are so proud to have been shortlisted for such a prestigious award and to allow us the opportunity to showcase the fantastic achievements we have seen locally and, to help improve care to our most vulnerable.”

The team will present their entry at the next judging stage in October and winners will be announced at an awards event at the InterContinental O2, London, on 22 November.



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