Nurses teach healthcare assistants to spot pressure ulcer warning signs

Skin integrity nurses at Doncaster and Bassetlaw NHS Foundation Trust have been training healthcare assistants to spot pressure ulcers in hospital patients
Pressure sore check

Pressure ulcer rates have dropped by two thirds at a hospital trust following a nurse-led training course for healthcare assistants (HCAs) on how to spot early signs.

Skin integrity nurses at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust delivered the three-month React to Red education programme for 34 HCAs at Doncaster Royal Infirmary and Bassetlaw Hospital. 

Course content

The course taught skin inspection, risk factors, skin care and the importance of moving patients with limited mobility.

Improving nutrition and hydration to combat hospital-aquired pressure ulcers was also covered along with understanding the different types of pressure ulcers, treatment and reporting. 

The percentage of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers at the two hospitals fell 67% between 2012/13 and 2015/16, from 157 to 52. 

Trained to react

Skin integrity React to Red project nurse Rachel Carmody said it gave the HCAs the know-how and confidence to react to red skin on patients early and to alert a tissue viability nurse. 

She added: ‘It has also provided an extra layer of protection on the wards with more staff looking out for our patients.’

The course was sponsored by NHS England and the trust is now running workshops that all HCAs can request to attend.