Changes relieve pressure at hospital

ICU staff at the RLICU - Emma Fletcher, Sian Franklin, Carol Farrar, Claire Rawes and Michelle Pye.
ICU staff at the RLICU - Emma Fletcher, Sian Franklin, Carol Farrar, Claire Rawes and Michelle Pye.

A team of nurses from the Royal Lancashire Infirmary have managed to reduce the number of pressure sore incidents to well below the national average.

Claire Rawes, previously Ward Manager of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the RLI, and now Matron for Surgery and Critical Care began the project after she noticed the Trust’s pressure ulcer incidence rates, particularly device-related pressure ulcers on ICU were prevalent.

She and her team worked with patients and staff to assess devices for comfort and risk of pressure ulcers, following a Trust-wide review of patient incidents and patient stories referring to pressure damage impact at the RLI’s ICU follow up clinic.

The team have now been shortlisted for a national patient safety award at this year’s Nursing Times Awards after reducing pressure sores in patients from 6.29 per cent to 0.74 per cent in just one year (between May 2013 and July 2014) - compared with the national NHS average of between 4 - 10 per cent.

The team changed the shape and design of devices including feeding tubes, face masks and oxygen tubes, and the techniques used to secure the devices to patients to achieve the results.