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Pioneering work to prevent bed sores scoops international award

An information pack to help carers spot the early warning signs has sparked interest from medics worldwide

HRCH Trust staff with their award for work to prevent bed sores

Pioneering work to prevent patients in west London developing painful bed sores has scooped an international award.

Anyone spending long periods sitting or lying in the same position is prone to pressure ulcers, which can develop in a matter of hours.

Wheelchair users, people with incontinence and those with poor nutrition or hydration are particularly vulnerable.

Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare (HRCH) NHS Trust has taken a leaf out of hospitals' books in a bid to stop patients suffering from the condition at home.

The trust has adapted the hospital protocol to produce an information pack, known as a SSKIN bundle, helping patients and their carers spot the warning signs themselves.

Its work has sparked global interest from medics as far afield as Abu Dhabi and the USA.

The initiative was also recognised at the European Pressure Ulcers Advisory Panel (EPUAP) award ceremony in September, where it received a gong for 'Quality Improvement Project on the Prevention of Skin Breakdown'.

The trust's care package, which was launched in April, includes an information sheet for carers, along with a booklet and poster showing them what to look out for.

Siobhan McCoulough, HRCH's pressure ulcer prevention project lead, said: "I am delighted we're getting so much support and recognition for all the hard work we've done to make sure carers are central in identifying early stage pressure ulcers and preventing deterioration."

HRCH provides the majority of community-based health services in Hounslow and Richmond, employing more than 1,000 staff, including district nurses, podiatrists and dietitians.

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