NewsCollaboration can help to relieve pressure on NHS

Collaboration can help to relieve pressure on NHS

Pressure Ulcers

Collaboration can help to relieve pressure on NHSInnovative collaboration, simplified grading and a new reporting system could help to improve the problems posed by pressure ulcers to NHS trusts, according to a presentation given by Jacqui Fletcher, tissue viability expert and project director of the Welsh Wound Initiative.

Jacqui Fletcher was speaking to more than 40 TVNs from across the UK at an educational seminar hosted by UK pressure care manufacturer, Direct Healthcare Services.

The event, entitled 'Making a Measurable Difference', held at the St David's Hotel and Spa in Cardiff, aimed to outline the problem pressure injuries pose to the NHS, discuss best practice and the benefits of collaborative working.

Discussing challenges in meeting targets and treating pressure injuries, Jacqui said that improving grading methods and pressure ulcer definitions could help to combat the issue. She suggested a different approach to improving quality of care, through collaborative working, and new grading and reporting systems uniformly adopted across NHS trusts.

As part of her recommendations,Jacqui said a potential solution could be a streamlined grading process that has two - as opposed to four - defining categories and very different treatment methods. For example, one category may be reversible and simple to treat, in comparison to the long-term intensive care needed for the other. This may help to reduce paperwork, so care time is not compromised. 

She added the challenges faced by the NHS have created an opportunity to innovate to achieve real improvement, saying: "It is fundamental that we work together to create a system that will make a difference. Due to budget cuts and restrictions, there is an increased amount of strain on nurses to meet targets, while still providing quality care for patients. We should focus our data collection efforts on supporting improvements in care rather than creating league tables."

"We are now seeing examples of commercial partnership models, whereby suppliers are providing technical support to clinicians, in addition to providing advanced equipment to prevent the burden of pressure ulcers on an economic and clinical basis. We need to see more of this creative thinking and procurement across the board."

Graham Ewart, Managing Director of Direct Health Care Services, added: "Pressure ulcers represent a major burden and create significant difficulties for patients, their carers and families. To realise the potential savings in clinical care it is time for industry to interact more closely - and in a different way - with the NHS. There is a real opportunity for suppliers and health trusts to work together to deliver tangible change.

"Our event provided a platform for discussion on the benefits of partnership working in delivering necessary clinical outcomes necessary to effect real change. I would strongly urge all suppliers to realise how they too can deliver better value to the NHS."