West Suffolk Hospital celebrating work to tackle ulcers

Ward managers Lesley Lang, Lisa Rushworth and Tracy McCullagh with their certificates and prize mone

Ward managers Lesley Lang, Lisa Rushworth and Tracy McCullagh with their certificates and prize money which will be added to ward funds. - Credit: Archant

Extremely painful, dangerous and avoidable pressure ulcers are being tackled at West Suffolk Hospital, with three wards clocking up 762 days ulcer-free.

During Stop the Pressure Day, wards F4, F5 and F9, which care for medical and surgical patients, were presented with certificates after they recorded 293, 265 and 204 days respectively.

Pressure ulcers develop when an area of skin is put under pressure, such as from prolonged bed rest. They can become so severe that they lead to open wounds and, in some cases, can even expose the bone.

The international campaign – which West Suffolk Hospital supports – aims to raise awareness of the steps which can be taken to prevent them.

This includes ensuring patients are risk assessed, keeping them hydrated, offering them help to change position, providing pressure-relieving mattresses wherever necessary, carrying out skin checks and serving good quality, nutritious food.

Simon Taylor, head of nursing for surgery at the hospital, said: “Ensuring the safety of every single patient who uses West Suffolk Hospital is our number one priority. As such, we were really pleased that we were able to recognise the achievement of these three wards during international Stop the Pressure day.

“Pressure ulcers can be extremely painful, and can lead to open wounds and even expose the muscle and bone. This can cause complications in vulnerable patients who are already unwell – which is why it is so important to prevent them from occurring in the first place.

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“At West Suffolk, we place a strong focus on prevention, and check every patient every two hours so that we can help them change position or check their skin if necessary, and make sure they have enough to eat and drink.”

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