News & Events
Pressure Sores More Common Because of NHS Staffing Cuts
- Posted by: curtislegalwp
- Category: pressure sores
A recent news article revealed that NHS nurses are leaving the profession in larger numbers than ever before. Amongst other things this appears to be affecting the number of patients who develop potentially dangerous pressure sores. One of the reasons for this is that the nursing shortages are so critical that patients who are incapacitated are often left to wet their beds because there is no nurse available to take them to the toilet. Wet, urine stained clothing is a leading cause of pressure sores.
Patients are also being left to suffer pain because no-one was available to make a second check on the administering of painkillers which was required because they are what are called controlled drugs.
In a recent survey conducted by the Huffington Post a number of nurses revealed their reasons for resigning.
One nurse said she had no choice but to leave patients on the toilet for an hour or more because there was no help at hand to get the patient back to bed. Also for patients who were in pain it was taking up to half an hour to get someone to 2nd check before administering more painkillers because they are controlled drugs. This she said was opening her up to the possibility of being accused of neglect and there was a higher chance of making a medical mistake. She also said that the outcome of poor health care was leading to the development of more pressure sores.
If the family of a loved one believes their relative has suffered harm in a hospital due to the action or inaction of a health professional or institution there may be grounds to file a personal injury claim against that person or the hospital or nursing home involved.
The ‘Stop the Pressure’ initiative really worked
According to ‘Stop the Pressure,’ an NHS initiative, avoiding pressure sores, or pressure ulcers as they are sometimes referred to, is a key indicator of the quality of patient care. Even though progress has been made over the last 5 years or so of the ‘Stop the Pressure’ initiative, managing pressure sores is still a healthcare problem that affects 700,000 people every year and costs the NHS a whopping £3.8 million daily. This won’t get any better if nurses continue to leave the profession at alarming rates.
The inaugural year of ‘Stop the Pressure’ which started in East of England and the Midlands area saw a massive reduction by 50 percent in the incidence of pressure sores. This campaign was successful due to an aggressive communication strategy that emphasised what causes pressure sores, what are the signs of pressure sores and what should be done to prevent them. One of the most significant features that brought about a successful outcome to the campaign was motivating staff especially those on the front line to improve patient care. However, without the required number of staff to patient ratio, improvements in patient care and pressure sores are significantly reduced.
Apps and games available to educate health professionals but you need the staff
‘Stop the Pressure’ together with the NHS, has released two apps that health professionals can view to help them with pressure sore management. The first is the ‘Stop the Pressure Game’ which is suitable for those involved in caring for patients in either the care community or in acute situations in hospitals. It targets frontline staff by helping them to recognise and lower the risk of the formation of a pressure ulcer in patients. The second is the ‘Nutrition Game,’ as poor nutrition and malnutrition are contributing factors in the development of pressure sores. They help frontline staff gain a better understanding of how to manage and recognise malnutrition and dehydration.
Everything is in place to help prevent painful pressure sores but hospitals are slowly being starved of the necessary health professionals to turn theory into practice.