The home front on pressure ulcers

Hospital-based tissue viability nurses are transforming the management and prevention of wounds in the community, writes Jennifer Trueland

Hospital-based tissue viability nurses are transforming the management and prevention of wounds in the community, writes Jennifer Trueland.

Abstract

Tissue viability specialist nurses at Guy’s and St Thomas’ trust in London are training care home staffand community carers to prevent and manage pressure ulcers. The successful Zero Pressure campaign stresses immediate response to any sign of skin reddening.

One of the best things about Leonie Bell’s job is seeing a problem that someone has had, sometimes for years, and being able to do something about it – often beyond patient expectations.

A tissue viability specialist nurse at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London, her delight in treating pressure ulcers – and transforming lives – shines through.

‘I’ve loved wounds forever,’ she says. ‘Some people have wounds and think that’s it, there’s nothing they can do about it. But we can manage it, improve the symptoms, and improve people’s lives. And if we can ultimately heal that wound – well, that’s just really satisfying.’

Pressure ulcers have moved up the agenda with NHS campaigns such as Stop the Pressure – an initiative begun in the East Midlands, now rolled out across NHS England – and targets on reducing incidence (see box). Good progress has been made in hospitals, but there has been less focus on community settings.

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This article was first published in print in Nursing Standard: volume 30, issue 14

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