Road To Treating Pressure Sores a Reality in the North East
- Posted by: curtislegalwp
- Category: News
If you have complete faith in our health system and you hear about pressure sores being mentioned you probably just think it’s just one of those medical conditions that’s hard to treat. You would probably turn a blind eye if you hear complaints in the media about the frightening incidences of pressure sores, thinking it’s just an exaggeration by the media and nothing else. Sadly, this isn’t the case and pressure sores which are sometimes called bed sores may occur while in hospital when the patient has restricted mobility. Older people are more at risk as they are unable to move to different positions easily.
If you have an elderly relative in hospital and you find bedsores present you have a right to complain to hospital staff and if nothing is done to prevent the occurrence you may have the right to file a personal injury claim on behalf of your relative. Hospitals are required by law to keep patients free of pain and unnecessary discomfort so if a patient suffers from pressure sores the hospital and its staff have breached their duty of care obligations.
County Durham & Darlington NHS Trust can now officially publicise that they have the best results for the lack of prevalence of pressure sores in Europe in their healthcare facilities.
Even though 50% of patients who are admitted to the Foundation Trust’s area hospitals are considered to be at very high risk of incurring damage from pressure sores, there has not been one case recorded in the past 16 months. This statistic could be stretched to the last 6 years. This it seems is all to do with the dedication of Carol Johnson, a matron who led the progress towards addressing the problem. The nurse responsible for treating pressure sores is called a tissue viability nurse and they all fully support Carol’s resourcefulness.
This is what Carol did:
- Risk assessments were put in place for all vulnerable patients within 6 hours of being admitted.
- Wound dressings were streamlined.
- Pressure- relieving devices were introduced.
- Education of patients and frontline staff was implemented.
- The right pressure reduction mattress was chosen for individual patients.
- Specialist mattresses are accessed as required.
Overall, almost 30 percent of mattresses are replaced every year so that their pressure reduction properties are still viable. Additionally, the trust is in the process of replacing bedside armchairs and better pressure-reducing chairs, with 700 being installed to date.
Education of Tissue Viability Team vital
Upskilling of human resources has been the turning point in ensuring that pressure sores are eliminated. Furthermore the success of this tissue viability initiative has led to it being spread to other neighbouring NHS foundation trusts in the Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys.
Zero tolerance for pressure sores in County Durham and Darlington
All this time and investment in ensuring patients don’t suffer from pressure sores has meant that there is now a zero tolerance to them. For Carol Johnson, problem solving comes naturally and she works collaboratively with specialists employed in the trust’s services ensuring that vulnerable patient groups are cared for and treated with specific dressings to prevent bedsores from developing.
While the country is assimilating the north east’s outstanding example there will be patients suffering from preventable bedsores in NHS health trusts throughout the country. If you have a loved one who you believe is suffering from preventable pressure sores in a hospital, an old people’s home or a care centre, whether it’s NHS run or private, you may have the grounds to file a personal injury compensation claim.