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Eliminating all bed sores is an ‘unrealistic target’
HEALTH chiefs say it is unrealistic to eliminate all bed sores from Worcestershire hospitals by December, but say they should work to eliminate the worst of them.
The Strategic Health Authority wants Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust to eliminate all avoidable grade two, three and four pressure ulcers by December.
A level one pressure ulcer is reddening to the skin while a grade four goes right the way through the skin and muscle.
Pressure ulcers are caused when the blood supply to the skin is cut off.
It can starve the skin of the oxygen it needs which causes it to break down. In extreme cases, bed sores can become open wounds.
As previously reported, hospitals will be fined £500 every time a patient gets a serious bed sore (grade three or four) from December.
During the first quarter of the year the trust, which runs Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester, had 51 more grade two, three and four pressure ulcers above the target of 113.
In a report, Helen Blanchard, the trust’s chief nursing officer, said one of the trust’s committees said a more realistic ambition would be to eliminate grade three and four pressure ulcers rather than grades two, three and four by December.
She said: “Grades three and four are so debilitating that’s why we’re saying to the wards that we should not be seeing them.”
Mrs Blanchard said ward sisters were now having weekly meetings to keep on top of their performance when it came to ulcers.
Mrs Blanchard wrote in her report: “There has been a rise in reporting of pressure ulcers as a direct consequence of improved data reporting, enhanced skin enhancement frequency and increased competency in staff to be recognising skin integrity issues.”