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News & Media

Media Release

Date: 17 November 2015

RUH win at Nursing Times Awards

The Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust (RUH) has been honoured at this year's prestigious Nursing Time Awards.

The results of the Nursing Times Awards 2015 were revealed on Thursday 12 November. The RUH was announced as the winner in the Patient Safety Improvement category for its work to reduce the incidence of avoidable pressure ulcers at the Trust.

Pressure ulcers are an injury characterised by a breakdown of the skin and underlying tissue. They develop as a result of skin being placed under pressure. Pressure ulcers range in their seriousness, from the minor category 1 pressure ulcer to the significant and seriously harmful category 4 ulcer.

In early 2014, an ambitious Trust-wide programme was launched – the aim of which was to unite the whole organisation in a culture change to eliminate avoidable pressure ulcers. From April 2014 to March 2015 the Trust saw a 79% reduction in category 2 pressure ulcers, a 50% reduction of category 3 pressure ulcers and category 4 ulcers have been eliminated entirely.

Lead Tissue Viability Clinical Nurse Specialist Michaela Arrowsmith said: "The aim was to improve the overall quality of care and patient experience through the prevention of unnecessary pressure ulcers, which can cause additional pain, suffering and fear. The programme was spearheaded by a 'delivery team' made up of a wide range of hospital staff who generated a sense of energy and enthusiasm for change and new ways of working.

"I'm pleased to say that the improvements have been sustained – since the programme came to an end in December 2014, we have gone on to further reduce the incidence of avoidable pressure ulcers which is a remarkable achievement and is testimony to the commitment of the whole Trust to build upon the outcomes of the programme and the constant hard work of staff on the wards."

Helen Blanchard, the RUH's Director of Nursing and Midwifery said: "I was honoured to accept this award on behalf of all of the staff who had a hand in the success of the project. Reducing the incidence of pressure ulcers is not just the work of our nurses and HCAs; it involves the hard work and dedication of our porters, medical equipment library staff, audit team, physios, occupational therapists, and dietitians. It has been a truly Trust-wide project and I am proud of everyone who has worked hard to reduce harm to our patients."

Nursing Times Editor Jenni Middleton said: "The nurses who have won this year – and those who are finalists – are smart, innovative and making real changes to the way that patients are cared for."

Notes to the Editor:

The Nursing Times Awards
With 20 targeted categories, the Nursing Times Awards cover every aspect of the nursing profession, from 'Nurse of the Year' to 'Patient Safety Improvement' and 'The HRH The Prince of Wales Award for Integrated Approaches to Care'.

The Nursing Times Awards are the most admired and relevant awards in the nursing and healthcare sector; providing industry recognition and unrivalled networking opportunities.

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