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Grade Three Pressure Ulcers Dropped by 80% in a year

1 June 2016, Sarah Newall, Communications

We are pleased to announce the news that Grade three hospital acquired pressure ulcers are down by 80% this year. The reduction is due to vigilance, good nursing, the appointment of Skin Champions and the pooling of knowledge by the Quality Nursing Team who have come together to share experience and ideas.

Picture of Cath Peake, Tissue Viability Nurse holding some pressure relieving items In April 2014 it was reported that 13 patients were suffering from a grade three pressure ulcer. Clinical leaders met with the Tissue Viability Team for a thematic review, formed a focus group and out of this came a number of actions.

Nutrition, continence and pressure ulcers are all linked and with this in mind it was decided that Skin Champions would be nominated on every ward as a useful way of ensuring that the three were monitored.

There was also an overhaul of paperwork - split it into ‘prevention’ and ‘treatment’ in the Care Plan and Ward Sister Deborah Sumner devised the concept of the BEST SHOT campaign – Buttocks, Elbows/ears, Sacrum, Trochanter, Spine/Shoulders, Heels, Occiput and Toes.

Figures show that in the year 2014/15 some 66 grade three ulcers were reported and with all of the above in place this dropped to 13 in the year 2015/16. There has also been an extensive equipment review.

Quality Lead Nurse Sarah Lafbery said: “It all starts with appropriate risk assessments and care planning. We need to make sure that we offer holistic care to the patient incorporating nutrition, continence and pressure relieving equipment. If we don’t get nutrition right or continence right, then we won’t get pressure ulcers right.

“All ulcers are now reported on the Ward Scorecard and into Datix so the data is now visible and owned by the wards. The Grade two ulcers have also dropped from 166 in 2014/15 to 98 in 2015/16 which is a 41% reduction.

“We must now all work to ensure that these figures remain low. We all know how important it is. If pressure ulcers aren’t detected or managed it can lead to a patient becoming seriously unwell or even contributing to their death so let’s keep up the good work and get the basics right for the patients we all care for.”

Cath Peake, Tissue Viability Nurse,  (pictured above), added: "Now, let's keep up the good work for all of our patients!"

For more information about our hospitals, visit www.westhertshospitals.nhs.uk. You can also join our near 5,000 followers on Twitter (twitter.com/westhertsNHS) or find us on Facebook (facebook.com/westhertsNHS).


  1. For more information, please contact Sarah Newall at the Trust’s Communications department on telephone: 01923 436 283 or email: info@whht.nhs.uk. Out of hours, please call 07900 228 031.
  2. West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust is a large acute trust serving people from across Hertfordshire, north London and further afield. It operates from three sites at Watford, St Albans and Hemel Hempstead hospitals and sees about 600,000 patients a year. We are one of the largest employers locally, with around 4,500 staff and volunteers.