International stop the pressure day (STPD) this year is on 21 November. Each year it gets bigger and better with more awareness raised. Best of all, it’s a chance for organisations from health and social care across all sectors, to share and celebrate their work in the prevention of pressure ulcers. For those of you on Twitter, join the international #stopthepressure to see what others are up to and share your work if you wish.
This in turn raises public awareness of this campaign. We still need to break through the myths and term of ‘Bed Sores’ which gives the public the idea this is something that only develops ‘in bed’ and when we are elderly.
For long term care the reality is that seating acquired pressure ulcers (SAPUs) are generally higher than bed acquired, as people live longer and increased immobility means that sitting for prolonged periods of time may be an issue.
There has been a huge emphasis on PU prevention in hospitals and community services with long term care sometimes left out the loop in this work.
What can you do for stop the pressure day at your place of work?
There is so much innovative and great resources to tap into for ideas. This could be something simple such as setting up a visual board on ‘react to red’ and ‘stop the pressure’ to asking your staff to wear the stop the pressure t-shirts for the day.
You could look at longer term quality improvement such as teaching staff how to investigate their pressure ulcers using root cause analysis ‘RCAs’, or introducing the aSSKINg care plan into practice.
The original SSKIN care bundle focused on five key aspects of preventative care but has since been updated to aSSKINg (Assessment, Surface, Skin inspection, Keep moving, Incontinence, and Nutrition, Giving Information).
This above model has been in use as gold standard for prevention and management of pressure ulcers, initially brought over to the UK in 2004 it was launched initially in Wales in 2009, Scotland 2011 and adopted by NHS England in 2012. It has been incorporated into acute settings, community settings and has been slowly migrating to long-term care settings such as nursing homes and hospices. It has shown great results for not just reducing the amount of pressure ulcer incidences but raising awareness of the main components needed to be risk assessed and monitored for the ‘at risk’ resident/patient.
This model is often benchmarked while investigating pressure ulcers as routine such as root cause analysis, if any of the above aSSKINg care components were not included in the individual’s care plan or there are clear gaps in this model it may indicate improvement needed in the care setting.
As a CQC specialist advisor it is this model that I use first as a benchmark when checking care records and practices.
I have included below a list of some resources which I hope help give you some inspiration.
I am passionate about getting all HCWSs/HCAs training in prevention, so along with training I have launched a free and accessible champion network via a closed Facebook page. There is also one for quality leads and managers so do join and have a nose at discussions or even better contribute. If you and your team are happy to, it would be great if you eventually could share your tools with others.
Other great links with ideas for the day:
Pressure ulcer resource links:
Staging of pressure ulcers
NDNQI Grading e-modules: