Lifting the Lid on Preventing and Reducing Pressure Damage in Residential Homes with the Medway Box
Jo Constant, Clinical Lead for Tissue Viability & Amanda Scudder, Senior Tissue Viability Nurse
In 2015/16 local data and audits highlighted a high percentage of PUs within local residential homes (RHs) and as with every organisation in England, Medway Community Health (CH) have strived to reduce pressure ulcer (PU) incidents across the community.
It is recognised that patients within these settings require higher health management as they present with chronic long-term diseases and multiple co-morbidities including end of life care.
Carers within these establishments are often unprepared for this type of high need management and have minimal knowledge and understanding in how to care for and prevent avoidable injuries such as pressure damage. This is compounded by a high turnover of staff thus increasing the demand on the Community Nursing Service as residential care is provided by social as opposed to healthcare staff.
Medway Community Tissue Viability Team wanted a way to reduce acquired PUs, whilst shaping the future for a substantive prevention of PUs in the RH setting and to create future best practice that maintained PU reduction.
The initiative was to empower the current workforce within RHs to take ownership of the project as this would be key to its continued success. They would be tasked to reduce the occurrence of significant pressure damage by early recognition and intervention of tissue damage (red mark) which would have a positive effect on patient care and outcomes as well as financial costs.