Scholarship Stories: Pressure Ulcer (PrU) Prevention

Treatment for pressure ulcers is extremely expensive with a total cost being £1.4-£2.1 billion per year and this accounts for 4% of the annual NHS budget. Funding from the Burdett Trust for Nursing, has granted Dr Liang Liu the ability to lead vital research into pressure ulcer prevention.

The focus

As a research fellow at Middlesex University London and Trustee for the Tissue Viability Society, Dr Liu has primarily been focusing on the experience, knowledge and attitude of Pressure Ulcer (PrU) prevention among nursing support workers (NSW) including healthcare assistants (HCAs).

As we know, HCAs alone form approximately one third of the caring workforce in hospitals, providing fundamental care, including skin care to patients. While  nursing support workers are an expanding group across diverse healthcare settings, their experiences, knowledge and attitudes towards PrU prevention remain relatively unknown.

Previous studies have mainly focused on registered nurses prompting recommendations for tailored training in PrU prevention.

The importance

About 4-10% of patients admitted to hospitals develop PrU in the UK, of which 95% are preventable. Treating PrU is extremely expensive with a total cost being £1.4-£2.1 billion per year and this accounts for 4% of the annual NHS budget.

PrU prevention is vitally important. Nurses and healthcare professionals are primarily accountable for preventing PrU. The DOH (2013) named HCAs as a critical resource for NHS to improve patient care.

The impact

In addition to the impact to the NSW community, our findings will be of broad benefit for nursing and other healthcare educators to provide better education/training, with the ultimate aim of reducing the incidence of PrUs and economic burden on the NHS.

The funding

With the funding, we can run our NSW survey and interviews in order to generate preliminary data. The findings of this study will form a base for us to design future interventional studies to improve NSW knowledge and practice in PrU prevention.

The future

After completing our current pilot study, we plan to publish our findings widely. We will start to design a future large scale national survey of NSWs, early-phase interventional study and large-scale evaluation of efficacy of interventions.

The funding will further improve our academic ability to deliver a high quality education program, leading to better patient care and outcomes at all levels of tackling PrUs.

About Middlesex University London

Archived project details (open access):
Instagram: @middlesexuniversity
Facebook: @MiddlesexUniversity
Twitter: @MiddlesexUni
YouTube: Middlesex University
LinkedIn: Middlesex University

About Burdett Trust for Nursing
Facebook: @burdetttrust
Twitter: @burdetttrust
Instagram: @burdetttrust

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