Nurses at North Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Trust given life saving mirrors

Staff on ward 16 at Scunthorpe hospital with the PUG mirrors, which stands for  pressure ulcer grading mirrors.
Staff on ward 16 at Scunthorpe hospital with the PUG mirrors, which stands for pressure ulcer grading mirrors.

A project aimed at reducing pressure ulcers in hospital will see every nurse at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust given a pocket mirror.

Pressure ulcers affect patients both physically and mentally as they can result in pain, loss of self-esteem and a longer stay in hospital.

Every nurse will recieve a pocket PUG (Pressure Ulcer Grading) mirror so they can carry out regular skin assessments to help identify early signs of deterioration in skin integrity and recognise pressure ulcers, deep tissue injury and moisture lesions.

The NHS spends an estimated £1.4 to £2.1 billion every year putting right the largely avoidable damage caused to patients as a result of pressure ulcers.

As part of the national Sign up to Safety initiative the Trust has pledged to reduce the number of avoidable grade three pressure ulcers by 50 per cent and avoidable grade four pressure ulcers to zero in the next three years.

Carole Linfoot and Judith Barnard, both tissue viability nurses, applied for the Dragons Den scheme at the Trust with an idea to reduce the number of pressure ulcers and educate staff around the grades of pressure ulcers and how to recognise moisture lesions and suspected deep tissue injuries.

They were successful in their bid and received funding for the mirrors and a number of other projects that they will also be working on to increase staff awareness.

Carole Linfoot, tissue viability nurse, said: “As clinical nurse specialists our commitment is to ensure that our knowledge and expertise is used to empower and train other healthcare professionals with the skills to make a difference in reducing pressure ulcers.

“The maintenance of a patient’s skin integrity is a fundamental and an essential element in provision of care, for which all healthcare professionals are accountable. Accurate and timely assessment of the patient’s risk factors and skin inspection of vulnerable areas are key aspects.”

The mirrors will help them to check vulnerable areas like heels, elbows, back of the head and toes while maintaining their patient’s dignity. It will also help prevent muskoskelatal damage to staff.

Judy added: “Early inspection means early detection of a problem then care can be provided at the right time to minimise the risk of skin and tissue damage.”

Every NHS Trust has a requirement to report on how many patients suffer from pressure ulcers and they are graded on a scale of one to four based on severity. It can be difficult to distinguish between grades of ulcers so Carole and Judy will also be spending some of the funds on education and training tools for staff.

Pictured are staff on ward 16 at Scunthorpe hospital with the PUG mirrors.