Award winning tissue viability nurse Deborah Gleeson has been instrumental in making changes to pressure care at Whiston Hospital, UK. Deborah has been working in the hospital for 18 years and her nursing achievements over that time represent her commitment and passion to improve patient care. Most recently, Deborah was awarded "Pressure Care Nurse of the Year" at this year's British Journal of Nursing.
We wanted to find out more about the great work Deborah does so she took time out of her busy schedule to share her experiences.
(Photo credit: British Journal of Nursing, Deborah Gleeson pictured center)
What has been implemented to help improve your practice?
I have been in Whiston since 1999. It is myself and one other tissue viability nurse. We have had significant investment and you can't do the job without the tools. We have got electric profiling beds, a full range of bariatric equipment, over 300 air mattresses and every area has pressure reducing mattresses. Many of our chairs are Seating Matters chairs.
"We just don't get the same volume of pressure ulcers any more. On rare occasions we do get tissue injuries but none of them have gone to a grade 3 which is excellent."
How valuable is clinical training for improving practices?
It is compulsory that everyone in our hospital does one hour of pressure ulcer training per year. It is compulsory in our trust. To make this happen, we do one education session per week with a different group of staff which is really helpful.
We have issued all staff with a training book on pressure ulcer reduction and mirrors so clinicians can check skin for pressure ulcers without having to lift patients. We have also introduced SKIN bundle on ICU.
What advice would you give to clinicians who want to reduce pressure ulcers for clients in their care?
If you change nothing, nothing will change.
Be open to trialing new products. I would encourage clinicians to apply safe practices, for example use off loading devices, air mattresses, Parafricta and regular skin care. You should be looking into the issue of patients not being seated safely in a chair. Important variables are width, depth, tilt, height and whether they can use alternatives. I would always check for friction and shearing. It is vital to apply good manual handling practices also.
What is your experience using Seating Matters chairs?
We have never had any incidences of pressure ulcers developing using Seating Matters chairs. We have implemented 2 hour seating practices as per the NICE guidelines and we have introduced slide sheets and booties for anyone who is high risk of developing pressure ulcers.
There are other companies out there but Seating Matters offer a bespoke service and that was the advantage of using your chairs.
The in-depth clinical research behind the chairs is a big reason why Whiston Hospital are using Seating Matters products. We are pleased to hear that Seating Matters chairs are part of the solution to help assist patients at Whiston Hospital. If you or your colleagues would like to find out more about how Seating Matters chair could help your clients, please do get in touch. We offer free hands on training sessions that provide evidenced based solutions in helping to reducing pressure ulcers.