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leg ulcer smallA county-wide study day involving hospitals, community hospitals and nursing homes is aiming to reduce pressure ulcers in Gloucestershire.

Stop the Pressure, being held in Cheltenham on Wednesday 30 April, will bring together matrons, ward managers and nursing home managers to take co-ordinated action to improve the prevention and early identification of pressure ulcers in both health care and community settings.

The day, jointly organised by Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust and Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, will feature analysis from the Francis and Keogh reports into the NHS alongside practical workshops.

Tissue viability lead at Gloucestershire Care Services, Lucy Woodhouse said: “Pressure ulcers and the serious impact they can have on health are the responsibility of all organisation providing care. We need to be working together to promote prevention of pressure ulcers and stay alert to recognise people at risk, from hospital wards to nursing homes.”

Pressure ulcers, sometimes known as bedsores, usually develop when the skin is placed under pressure for a prolonged period of time, disrupting the blood flow. A lack of oxygen causes the tissue to break down, leading to the formation of an ulcer. People with health issues and reduced mobility are particularly vulnerable. The chances of developing a pressure ulcer are increased by conditions which affect blood flow (such as type 2 diabetes).
Both trusts have specialist tissue viability teams who play a vital role in training and educating other staff, carers and patients, to prevent pressure ulcers forming and allow them to spot warning signs, as well as providing expert assessment and treatment.

Clinical nurse specialist for tissue viability at Gloucestershire Hospitals, Julie Bryan said: “Minimising the risk and harm from pressure ulcers involves many areas including improving nutrition and hydration, re-positioning patients and selecting the correct type of mattress for the individual.

“We believe this event will help our specialist teams work with colleagues from across the county to help ensure that everyone is doing all they can for our patients."

Around 150 people are expected to attend the event which is taking place at the Sandford Education Centre at Cheltenham General Hospital.