Welsh NHS Trust trials zero tolerance policy to pressure sores

An NHS trust in Wales has received an award nomination for its stance of zero tolerance of bed sores, which can sometimes lead to hospital negligence claims being made.

Prevention of bed sores and related claims

Pressure sores, also referred to as pressure ulcers or bed sores, are a preventable cause of compensation claims during stays in hospital, but can be seen more often in patients who have limited mobility. Swansea Bay University Health Board (SBUHB), in partnership with the Welsh Risk Pool (WRP), implemented a zero tolerance policy, which has seen a 29% reduction in sores which can lead to pressure sore compensation claims being made against a hospital.

Senior tissue viability nurse at Karen Kimberley said

“Pressure ulcers can cause untold harm to patients, through pain, discomfort, delay in rehabilitation and prolonged admissions. The burden on healthcare is also considerable, in terms of financial cost and delays in recovery and discharge.”

Hospital negligence lessons learned

The study by the partnership of SBUHB and WRP had the following aims:

  • Better understand the issues contributing to pressure ulcers
  • To identify causal factors leading to pressure damage
  • To work with the tissue viability teams across Wales to identify good practice and areas for development
  • To share learning across both organisations
  • To improve patient safety and outcomes
  • To develop a strategic quality improvement plan for the organisation which could be replicated in other health boards
  • To reduce the incidence of healthcare acquired pressure damage occurring within SBUHB by at least 10% across both the in-patient and community population.

The results of the study will now be shared across the Welsh NHS.

The NHS Wales Award will be announced on September 19th at a ceremony in Cardiff.

If you have developed a pressure sore during a stay in hospital, you may be eligible to make a bed sore claim. Contact one of our specialist medical negligence solicitors to get free initial advice.

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