November 19th marks this year’s International Stop Pressure Ulcer Day. A day to raise specific awareness for the prevention of pressure ulcers.
Launched in November 2016, 2020 is the 5th anniversary of The ‘Stop the Pressure’ campaign. Originally launched by NHS Midlands and East, it is now a nationwide campaign managed by NHS England and NHS Improvement under the leadership of Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer. ‘Stop the Pressure’ continues to fight with the same ambition as in the beginning; ‘to support the improvement of standards of safe care.’
Pressure ulcers are considered a key indicator of the quality and experience of patient care. But despite progress, it is still a major healthcare issue. Over 1,300 new ulcers are reported each month and around 200,000 people developed a new pressure ulcer in 2017/18 (Source: NHS Digital). Treating pressure ulcers costs the NHS more than £1.4 million every single day! And so, this is why we want to join the fight and change this; to help improve every patient’s quality of life!
“I couldn’t be prouder to see Trusts around England sharing what they are doing to raise awareness on pressure ulcer prevention.” Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England.
Pressure ulcers are an issue that we at Bayliss Mobility don’t think should still be causing suffering in 2020. With the main causes being poor diet, static positioning, and poor skin care, preventative measures can be easily put in place to help stop an ulcer before it starts. We think it is important to embrace this campaign to help spread this message, particularly as its effectiveness is beyond doubt!
In the first year, the campaign saw a 50% reduction in the number of pressure ulcer cases across the Midlands and the East of England. This was delivered by raising awareness of the causes of pressure ulcers with an extensive communication strategy, understanding the early warning signs, taking preventative measures, and utilising SSKIN. Front line staff were motivated to drive improvement in patient care for patients in their care settings and in the subsequent years saw the improvement sustained and the campaign expand across some other regions.
How can Pressure Ulcers be prevented?
Pressure ulcer prevention is simple. Small daily changes can be all it takes to prevent such a debilitating condition. There a five simple steps you can do to improve a patients quality of life:
Make sure the surface a patient may lay on for long periods of time is comforting and soft. Hard surfaces such as plastic seats and wheelchairs can lead to skin damage and callous’ in areas of constant pressure. These can be uncomfortable, sore, and eventually break out into ulcers. Here at Bayliss Mobility, we offer a large product range of supports specifically designed to reduce the pressure placed on a patient’s skin. We stock a wide variety of items from bed fleeces to ankle and elbow protectors. Shop our range now!
2. Skin Inspection
Regularly checking the condition of a patient’s skin, particularly in areas of high risk, is a great way to spot the signs of a developing ulcer before they really start. Spotting the symptoms early makes treatment much easier than if it is noticed too late. Showing a patient what to look for themselves is also a great way to reduce the risk of developing an ulcer.
3. Keep Moving
The simplest way to prevent pressure sores is to keep changing positions. As simple as it sounds, making sure the same area of skin isn’t constantly under pressure will prevent ulcers from forming. Even if you are bed-bound, making a minor adjustment to your position can be enough to stop your skin from becoming irritated. For accessories that make such movements easier, shop our range of aids online here.
4. Incontinence / Moisture
Ensuring a patient is always clean and dry will reduce the risk of ulcers breaking out in areas of high pressure. Poor hygiene is a major cause of ulcers due to the spread of bacteria across the skin’s surface. Making sure a patient is clean with anti-bacterial products and the skin dry is imperative to prevent infections.
Eating well and staying hydrated is key to healthy skin. Ingesting a balanced diet along with plenty of water will dramatically help reduce the risk of a patient suffering from pressure sores. This is because the skin will be healthier, benefitting from having the correct vitamins in the body whilst also being hydrated after regular intakes of water.
For more information on preventing pressure ulcers, please visit the designated NHS website for ‘STOP The Pressure‘!