The issue is pressure ulcers and the impact of them on patients, families, carers, staff and organisations is huge.
The lifestyle of a person who has suffered a pressure ulcer is changed forever, their ability to lead a pain-free, risk-free life in the future, affected.
The focus we placed on pressure ulcer prevention and management throughout November was extremely successful in motivating action. We have seen many teams and organisations holding events in their communities to raise awareness of the issue and promote good practice.
In particular, the achievements of the Midlands and East of England in reducing the number of new pressure ulcers by 50 per cent has been highly praised and used as a key driver for change across the rest of England.
Much of this good practice has been shared through the Stop the Pressure website and social media platforms such as Twitter; our hashtag #Stopthepressure was used nearly 10 million times during November.
People got involved at conferences and events; through twitter chats with ‘We Nurses’ and ‘Nursing Times’; WebEx presentations and discussions; visits to care providers and through Stop the Pressure where case studies, tools, resources and materials were accessed and shared.
Support from key stakeholder organisations such as Health Education England, the Nursing and Midwifery Council and the Royal College of Nursing has been tremendous and has demonstrated the importance of this issue across the health sector.
Leading the way for the independent care providers were the likes of BUPA and Barchester Health, who are engaging in work to spread the learning to care and nursing home providers through sharing the processes and procedures they have in place to prevent and manage Pressure Ulcers in their care settings.
Phase Two of the Stop the Pressure programme is now underway and will support much of the work with care homes, independent providers and community care settings.
A focus on education for nurses as well as patients, families and carers will ensure we are all equipped to identify risk factors and early warning signs, helping to eliminate avoidable pressure ulcers for all people in our care.