Nottinghamshire Healthcare has been shortlisted for its award entry on reducing pressure ulcers in care homes in the 2015 national Patient Safety Awards.
The Patient Safety Awards takes place every year recognising and rewarding outstanding practice within the NHS and independent healthcare organisations.
The Trust's Care Home Tissue Viability Team submitted their entry in the Patient Safety in the Care of Older People category where judges looked for projects that improved the safety of older people in primary, acute or community settings and that also increased the quality as well as the safety of patient experience. The award also celebrates and recognises those organisations taking action to improve care of older people.
The team's award entry, ‘Reducing pressure ulcer development in vulnerable care home residents' highlighted that locally there was often a lack of basic knowledge of the prevention of pressure ulcers from care home staff, pressure ulcers were not being recognised until severe and therefore residents were not being referred into appropriate services. A scoping exercise by the team showed that over 47% of care home staff had never received any previous pressure ulcer prevention training and for many this had been many years ago.
Research suggests that around 60% of care home residents are at risk of developing pressure ulcers and the majority are thought to be avoidable if the correct preventative measures are in place.
To address this issue, supported by Bassetlaw Clinical Commissioning Group, the team launched a bespoke pressure ulcer training package in 2014 for care homes, consisting of a workbook, DVD and competency tool. This ensured that training could be delivered in a consistent and evidenced based way which was accessible to all care home staff. Alongside the launch was a drive to strengthen an existing tissue viability link champion network, to share good practice across homes and to encourage local engagement and ownership.
Karen McEwan, Quality Improvement Matron said:
“As a team we feel very honoured that we have been shortlisted for this prestigious award. Our passion for pressure ulcer prevention in the care homes is shared and driven by dedicated care home staff and community nurses, so that vulnerable people are protected from avoidable harm and the impact this has on their quality of life.”
To date there has been a 38% reduction in pressure ulcers from those reported by community nursing staff visiting residential homes over the past year, and a noticeable increase in staff knowledge and observed practice. Carers now have the ability to recognise those residents at risk and ensure appropriate interventions are in place to reduce the risks.
The East Midlands Patient Safety Collaborative (EM PSC), part of the East Midlands Academic Health Network, has identified the care of the older person in care homes as one of the priority areas and is supporting the roll out of the Trust's pressure ulcer training package to other Clinical Commissioning Groups. This is further supported by an international approach to improving safety and the Trust is working with the EM PSC, and Maastricht University, Netherlands, to implement new initiatives into care homes.
Dean Howells, Executive Director of Nursing, Quality & Patient Experience said: “I am absolutely delighted that the team have been shortlisted for a Patient Safety Award. This is a testament to their hard work and to the Trust's commitment to continue to take action to prevent or reduce avoidable pressure ulcers.”
The Trust is committed to measure, support and improve care to people in care homes and will be introducing its training package to other services, such as continence, falls, nutrition and hydration.
The team will now go before a panel of judges in London to present their award entry. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on 6 July at the International Convention Centre, Birmingham.