North Tyneside CCG News

North Tyneside care home eradicates pressure ulcers in 18 months

Wed 24th July 2019

Staff at a Wallsend care home have received recognition having all undergone React to Red training and achieved their goal of being  pressure ulcer free. In just 18 months, they have applied their training in practice, identifying residents at risk and intervening early, which means that none of Windsor Court Care Home’s residents now suffer from this painful condition.

Pressure ulcers are avoidable injuries that occur when prolonged pressure is applied to the skin, often when someone is confined to a bed or chair for a long period.  As well as being extremely painful, the ulcers can become infected, leading to serious medical concerns. React to Red is the National Pressure Ulcer Prevention Campaign and North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group, North Tyneside Care Homes and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust have worked together to deliver harm free care in relation to the prevention of pressure ulcers. In June 2017, the care staff from Windsor Court attended React to Red training delivered by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s Tissue Viability Team. Having received the training, the team showed real dedication in proactively putting it to use.

Undertaking the training and adopting React to Red policies have enabled staff to identify the warning signs of pressure damage earlier, and take measures to prevent worsening of the condition. The training also led to an improvement in communications and better-managed interventions. The staff have proven the effectiveness of this approach by sharing case studies. One patient transferred into the home with a category 4 pressure ulcer received excellent care which meant it healed within six months. Pressure ulcers like this are very difficult to heal which is testimony to the staff’s care and dedication.

Staff Nurses Noelle Brooks, Tracy Satterley and Debbie Smith (Senior Carer /Trainee Nurse Associate) took part in the initial training and were then responsible for ensuring that this was delivered to staff within the home. Debbie led the competency assessment and training for all staff. She said: “React to Red has provided us with a working assessment tool whereby we are able to measure and deliver care immediately, enabling us to be proactive rather than reactive to skin integrity.”

Thanks to its staff’s hard work, Windsor Court Care Home was named most proactive team in applying the React to Red training, winning recognition from both North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.  Debera Drew, a Tissue Viability Nurse who works for Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Thanks to early identification of redness and potential pressure damage to the skin Windsor Court has managed to be pressure ulcer free for 18 months. This is an outstanding result for the care home and, most importantly, for the residents themselves.”

Ruth Marshall, Clinical Quality Lead Nurse for NHS North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “I’ve been impressed by the way in which the Windsor Court care staff have tackled the issue of pressure ulcers. By adopting the React to Red programme so enthusiastically, the team have dramatically improved quality of life for the residents. As part of the Enhanced Health in Care Homes Framework, the CCG is working in partnership with North Tyneside Care Homes on a number of initiatives to improve the quality and safety of care delivery including  React to Red.”

In the UK, pressure ulcers affect around 700,000 people each year. Treating pressure ulcers costs the NHS and other care organisations £6.5 billion. However, with the right staff training and some vigilance, it’s possible to avoid both the suffering and the cost caused by this common condition.

More information about the React to Red Skin campaign is available at www.reacttoredskin.co.uk