Leah Milne is a 3rd year Adult Nursing student based at our Cambridge campus. Here she gives an account of the Stop the Pressure campaign that will be happening on 5 June 2015.
As a healthcare professional I have spent a lot of my time in hospitals, care homes and patients’ own homes. Throughout all my years in healthcare, pressure ulcers have always been a concern of great magnitude. A pressure ulcer is an area of skin that has been damaged through irritation or continuous pressure on part of the body.So why are pressure ulcers a big concern for all healthcare professional across multiple care settings?
There are approximately 700,000 reported cases of pressure ulcers each year, making pressure ulcers one of the most prevalent but avoidable causes of harm that arise both inside and outside the hospital setting. This can have a significant impact on the patient’s quality of life. Pressure ulcers can prolong recovery and increase an individual’s hospital stay. Moreover, patients with pressure ulcers have a higher mortality rate than patients with intact skin.
We know that preventing pressure ulcers will improve care for vulnerable patients. The Stop the Pressure campaign was launched in November 2011 by NHS Midlands and East as part of their ambition to make life better for patients. The campaign is now being rolled out nationally with the support of NHS England and NHS Improving Quality, with an aim to achieve a 50% reduction in pressure ulcer prevalence. This has also been supported and developed through several universities by nursing students. These student-led projects have been a great success, with extremely positive responses from the students involved.
In the summer of 2014, a team of student nurses and myself got together with one aim: to support the efforts of the Stop the Pressure campaign. We want to maintain and build momentum in relation to the reduction of pressure ulcers with a view to the Stop the Pressure resources and methodology being utilised across England in all aspects of care. We need to work to reducing the number of deaths to our patients through complications caused by pressure ulcers and to enhance a patient’s experience throughout their care from start to finish.
To support our vision we are holding a Stop the Pressure conference on 5 June 2015, created by students, for students with lots of support from our University.
Throughout this conference we will have the honour of having various established guest speakers, including experts in nutrition, tissue viability, and improving quality of care throughout the healthcare system, all of which contribute strongly towards the prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers. We have also had great enthusiasm from various companies that have agreed to provide us with an exhibition on the day, where students will be able to have a hands-on, educational experience with the products and equipment needed to prevent pressure ulcers.
It has been very exciting being a part of this fantastic, dedicated team. Throughout this time it is great seeing other students and tissue viability nurses from across the country interested in making a difference to the care of our patients. After all, we will all be patients at some point.
Thank you for reading. I hope you’ll get behind the Stop the Pressure campaign and be inspired to make a difference as well. Your support is very much appreciated and I urge you to join us at this exciting time.
To find out more follow the conference on social media: @STPressure