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More wards join the “365 Club”

Tuesday April 1, 2014

More wards have achieved the remarkable milestone of ensuring that none of their patients suffered an avoidable pressure injury throughout an entire year.

Across Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, 37 wards have earned entry into the “365 club”, having protected their patients from avoidable pressure wounds for all of 2013.

All 37 have been given their Gold Award certificates, up from 31 wards in 2012, the first year that the Trust ran the initiative to recognise top-quality skin care.

The awards were presented by Cathy Stone, the Trust’s Director of Nursing and Patient Safety. Cathy has consistently stressed that the standard of skin care is the best single measure to use when trying to assess the overall quality of care being given to patients.

The progress we have seen in promoting good skin care throughout the Trust has been absolutely superb.

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

Across the whole Trust, another impressive landmark has been achieved – it is now a year since a single patient in any of our hospitals has suffered an avoidable grade 3 or 4 pressure wound, the most serious type of such injury.

This achievement is matched by very few other Trusts nationally, and would have been considered completely unrealistic only a few years ago.

The success is the direct result of the implementation of the Trust’s “skin bundle” in recent years, which sets out best practice for staff.

Specialist nurses have also worked hard not only to train their colleagues, but also to make sure that all patients get the best care.

Karen Penhallow, the Trust’s Tissue Viability Clinical Nurse Specialist, said: “I think that staff are now very 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.”

Cathy Stone added: “The progress we have seen in promoting good skin care throughout the Trust has been absolutely superb.

“Sadly, it is increasingly commonplace for us to admit of 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.

“These awards recognise that hard work.”

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