...And The Winner Is...

Out of the Ordinary

Deborah Glover - Editor PCNR

BSc (Joint Hons), Dip. Care Policy & Management, RGN

All in all, it was a successful day; although we were luncheoning at the Royal Opera House (ROH), no-one developed consumption, no tiny hands were frozen, no-one was murdered, and perhaps most importantly, no-one burst into song despite there being much to celebrate. Yes, the annual Mölnylcke Health Care Wound Academy Scholarship and Awards luncheon and presentation was held at the ROH on the 28th May.

Since 2001/2002, Mölnylcke Heath Care has sponsored the Scholarship and Awards programme under the auspice of the Wound Academy.  The format of the programme has changed over the years to reflect both the success of previous winners and the changing nature of tissue viability service delivery.

Many of the winners, particularly from the Scholarship category, have seen success in their workplace and have attributed this to the rise in their profile from the associated publicity and follow-up by the Mölnylcke team. Anecdotal evidence from past winners and those representing for example, the Department of Health, confirms that the concept is highly regarded amongst those in the discipline. A key positive is that the awarding of the Scholarship and Awards is the start of a process rather than the end. All winners are visited by members of the team. Winners record their progress through quarterly updates in the Wound Academy Bulletin, thus keeping their project in the minds of readers.

And the winner is....

Shona Macdonald, Business Director (UK & Ireland), Mölnylcke Health Care began with a welcoming speech, followed by a rousing speech from David Foster, Head of the Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions Policy Unit at the Department of Health (DH). David has supported the Scholarship and Awards for a number of years, taking a personal interest in the work of the winners – to the extent that some find themselves at the end of a DH visit!

Then came the terrifying moment for last year's winners - their speeches! Krissie Styles, Burn Care Advisor, Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Carol Johnston, Tissue Viability Matron, Darlington Memorial Hospital and Helen Mountford, Staff Nurse, Acorns Children’s Hospice, spoke eloquently about the work they had undertaken since receiving their scholarship/award and what it had meant to them.

Scholarship Winner

Angela Rivett, Tissue Viability Nurse, City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust

Angela works within a small team of TVNs in Sunderland. She was previously a vascular nurse.

Angela and the TV team is aiming to standardise care throughout the Trust, and they are devising further pathways/flow charts for management of specific wounds. As part of the on-going drive to meet CQUIN targets, Angela has been allocated specific clinical areas to work within, first, ensuring that the SSKIN bundle is delivered appropriately, and second, taking responsibility for skin tear teaching and management, building upon the work already undertaken by Mölnylcke, and devising a clear and concise flow chart for the clinical setting. She is also working with the team to establish a learning zone and handbook for student healthcare professionals.

Angela wants to develop her clinical skills and improve her knowledge base; she aims to use the Scholarship to attend study days, organise awareness events within the Trust, and continue with research/audits which assist in improving patient care in relation to the prevention and management of pressure ulcers.

Innovations in Burns

Rosemary Rose, Tissue Viability Clinical Nurse Specialist Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust

Rosemary presented a case study showing how the use portable negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) and allogenic keratinocytes were used as an alternative to a skin graft to heal full thickness skin loss head wounds.

The case study related to a 39 year old lady who was referred to the tissue viability nurse specialist (TVNS) team to review a forehead and scalp wound caused during a road traffic accident. The forehead skin flap had been reattached to the wound bed in theatre, but had  become macerated and necrotic, requiring debridement in theatre. After treatment, the aesthetic appearance of the wound was acceptable to the patient; seven months after discharge photographs showed minimal scarring and that the colour of the wound was very close to that of the original forehead tissue and easily covered with clever positioning of her hair.

The treatment allowed faster healing compared to usual wound management using advanced dressings, and allowed the patient to be managed as an outpatient, enabling her to be with her family. The treatment regimen was also cost effective as fewer dressing changes and nursing time were required to manage the wound. The need for an allograft and surgery was eliminated by implementing this cost effective alternative.

Rosemary suggests that TV specialists need to identify and examine evidence based research and implement innovative treatments which will both improve quality of life for patients and provide cost savings for the NHS, which will in turn raise the profile of their speciality.

Innovations in Service Development

Michelle Porter, Tissue Viability Nurse, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, King’s Lynn

Michelle outlined the ‘Ready to Roll’ campaign to promote better pressure area care within the hospital. The campaign was designed to put people, rather than numbers first and make the staff remember that it was the patient at the heart. With Board support, the campaign was launched to the nursing lead, risk management workers, clinical ward staff, therapy staff and medical staff.

Michelle worked with the Trust’s communications department to ensure that the campaign was widely visible and professionally delivered (logos, presentation boards posters, lanyard cards with the ASKINS tool – and the obligatory T-shirt!). Prizes were offered (certificate, cake, fob watches) to the areas with 100 PU free days. 

Other service changes included:

  • engaging/educating with therapy staff and unregistered staff
  • including an area on the ASKINS tool where unregistered staff can document the care they deliver and any actions taken; this has proved to be very successful as a communication tool between staff and showed the importance of team working

PU numbers have decreased from over 30 a month to 10 a month and continue to drop, particularly grade 3 PUs. Cost savings are seen with a reduction in bed days, nursing hours and dressings required, and our patients are harm free and safe within our hospital

The Winners