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North West hospitals named among worst in the country for pressure sores

View profile for Judith Thomas-Whittingham
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Figures show that the Royal Bolton Hospital is one of the worst in the country for patients suffering from pressure sores.
Research carried out by the health consultancy, Dr Foster Intelligence, shows that the Royal Bolton Hospital is in the top five hospitals in the country for rates of pressure sores, measured against an expected number.
A second North West Trust, Warrington and Halton Hospitals Foundation Trust, is also named in the top five along with Medway Foundation Trust, Southend University Hospital Foundation Trust and West Hertfordshire Hospitals Trust.
The figures, taken from February 2010 to January 2011, were compared against expected figures, based on previous performance. The exact figures have not been released but they are said to be “significantly high”.
Bosses at the Royal Bolton Hospital admit the figures are concerning and that they have work to do to address the problem. They have recently invested £1 million on new beds with pressure-relieving mattresses.
Maria Sinfield, deputy director of nursing, said: “The figures are of concern and a great deal of work has been undertaken to understand them and make improvements. There are issues we need to address to prevent any pressure sores developing and if a patient does start to develop one, to ensure quick identification and appropriate treatment. We have reinforced the importance of risk assessment and appropriate care. We are making sure that recording is accurate and detailed.”
A spokesman for Warrington and Halton Foundation Trust said: “We’ve now completed a review of the coding we use and actions we are taking will ensure that our data will give a more accurate representation of pressure ulcer incidence at our hospitals in the future as these figures currently give a higher reading than is the actual case”.
A hospital’s rate of pressure sores is often said to be a good indicator of the quality of nursing care.
The NHS Institute identified pressure sores as one of the eight High Impact Actions for nursing and midwifery and quoted research showing they were associated with an increased risk of secondary infection and a large increase in the risk of death in older people in intensive care units.
However, simple measures such as carrying out risk assessments, regularly turning patients and using pressure-relieving mattresses can prevent painful pressure sores occurring.
If you believe that you have received treatment below a reasonable standard then we have a dedicated team of clinical negligence solicitors who would be happy to advise you further. Call us for free initial advice on 01616 966 229.