A nurse consultant from United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust has been named Pressure Care Nurse of the Year at one of the nursing profession’s most prestigious awards, The British Journal of Nursing Awards.
Mark Collier, Tissue Viability Nurse Consultant, was recognised for the development of PUNT (Pressure Ulcer Notification Tool) a unique online system that allows clinical staff to report and review reliable pressure ulcer data for hospital inpatients.
Pressure ulcers are a type of injury that affects areas of the skin and underlying tissue. They are caused when the affected area of skin is placed under too much pressure for a prolonged period of time, in combination with a number of other factors.
Pressure ulcers can range in severity from fixed areas of discoloured skin to open wounds that expose the underlying tissues or bone.
Originally launched in 2004 and developed with support from the Trust’s IT team, PUNT has allowed the Trust to objectively report a decrease in the incidence of all categories of pressure ulcers, especially since its further redevelopment in 2011.
The current Trust pressure ulcer incidences for all hospital admissions are 0.5%, down from a peak of 6% since PUNT was first introduced. Hospital-acquired heel pressure ulcers have also decreased by over 30% since 2011.
The quality of patient care has also improved since the implementation of PUNT:
- Improved skin assessment and the patient’s relevant personal care needs.
- The tool includes data about where patients were admitted from – home, nursing home, internal trust transfer or other hospital – which helps to inform the local clinical commissioning groups and other community care settings of potential ‘hot spots’ or areas that might need further support.
- Previous significant ulcers (category 3 and 4) are always highlighted when a patient record is retrieved.
Mark said: “I’m delighted to have won this award and I’m very grateful that the hard work of the tissue viability team and our clinician’s who use PUNT has been recognised.
“Further improvements of the tool are already in development. One of which will allow clinical photographs of pressure ulcers to be recorded within PUNT both on admission and discharge and then uploaded into PUNT for review alongside the individual pressure ulcer record as required.
“A number of other NHS healthcare organisations have also expressed interest in adopting the system.”
Winners were announced at an awards ceremony on Friday 11 March at Shakespeare’s Underglobe in London.