Petrol pumps and tenterhooks

Out of the Ordinary

Deborah Glover MBE, Editor PCNR

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

Mölnylcke Wound Academy Scholarship and Awards 2016

It began early in April; four judges, numerous entries, clock ticking…

Yes, the winners of the 2016 Scholarship and Award programme were about to be decided. Once again, the judges were faced with a difficult task, but as ever, they rose to the occasion magnificently and whittled a short-list. And then the fun began as lunch invitations were sent to the short-listed candidates, co-workers and manager, and to previous winners and other tissue viability practitioners.

This year, the awards lunch was held at the Bluebird Café in London. Those that were too nervous to shop in the King’s Road on the way to the event certainly were determined to rectify that on the way home…

Prior to handing certificates to the winners, Dr David Foster, Head of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals Policy Unit, Department of Health, delivered an eloquent speech in which he praised the work of the winners and the role of the Wound Academy in supporting the winners in the year following their award. Here they are:

Scholarship Winner

Lauren Thorpe, Wound care Sister, Longford health centre, Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust

Lauren has been working in tissue viability (TV) for the last nine months having previously worked as a district nurse. Her observations and interaction with the TV teams over the course of her career inspired her to become a TV nurse.

The judges were impressed by a project Lauren and the team have undertaken in which they support DNs by integrating into their teams and promoting the use of guidelines to support best practice. This project resonated particularly with Lauren as in her previous role she sought advice and support from the TVNs.

Positive outcomes have already been demonstrated:

  • An improvement in the team's interaction with the service
  • A reduction in pressure ulcers
  • Improved clinical assessments and treatment
  • Patients access the right professionals at the bedside

Although all the judges were more used to landlines and internal memo’s to communicate, they were impressed by Lauren’s plans for the use of social media over the next 12 months. She will use SoMe to target community services, practice nurses and nursing home staff in order to share current best practice and guide staff to use the service website where there is a wealth of information and resources.


Innovations in Radiotherapy Care

Kate Cooper, Macmillan Specialist Radiographer, Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton

Here the judges were presented with an excellent example of how an adverse incident led to multi-professional learning and a change in procedures. Kate submitted an excellent case study which detailed management of an unprecedented radiotherapy reaction following completion of radiotherapy, thought to be due to Methotrexate for rheumatoid arthritis. The combined use of several wound care products was required due to the size and position of the wounds requiring dressing over several weeks.

As a result, consultants within radiotherapy are now more aware of the potential interaction; protocols & policies have been amended to avoid concomitant use of Methotrexate during RT. There is more robust communication between both different departments and with outlying hospitals.  This has the potential to change practice nationally.


Innovations in PU Care

Amy Verdon Tissue Viability Clinical Nurse Specialist, Viola Sidambe,  Tissue Viability Clinical Nurse Specialist and Rachel Reece, Tissue Vaibility Nurse,  University Hospital, Walsgrave

Each of the judges knew of ‘Sally Sore’, a pressure ulcer prevention teaching doll used to provide education to staff in a ‘hands on’, practical way, and to raise awareness of pressure ulcer prevention methods. These include:

  • 30 degree tilt
  • Use of slide sheets
  • Skin assessment
  • Intentional rounding
  • Heel elevation/ prevention

Sally has her own Twitter page, @SallySore to promote her activities and she is included in the quarterly tissue viability newsletter. Sally Sore allows the team to ensure that the message of pressure ulcer prevention can be delivered in a fun but meaningful, educational way on the formal teaching sessions, but is more widely used within clinical practice in ward and dept based teaching sessions. This method could be replicated across the UK and worldwide for the benefit of patients at risk of pressure ulcers everywhere.

She is gaining national acclaim, and even made an appearance at WUK last year! Over 1000 members of the Trust have been educated using Sally.

The judges liked this innovative and new approach to PU prevention, and believe that Sally and her approach could be used in many other organisations. 


Innovations in Service Delivery

Highly Commended – Linda Whiting, Lead Tissue Viability Nurse, Jo Constant, Liz Ettridge, (Medway Community Healthcare), Hayley Jones, (Medway Foundation Trust) St Barts Hospital, Rochester

This year, the judges felt that the entries were ‘just bubbling under’ the threshold for this category. However, they felt that this particular innovation, already in place in continence care, was worthy of a Highly Commended.

The Medway Community Healthcare Tissue Viability Team have been working closely with the Tissue Viability team at the Medway Foundation Trust to:

  • Improve the PU prevention skills and knowledge of health care professionals
  • To educate patients, carers and the public about PU prevention
  • To facilitate effective and efficient transfer of patients with wounds between the two organisations

They developed a ‘Pressure Ulcer Passport’ in collaboration with the pressure damage improvement group (comprising a podiatrist, dietician, physiotherapist, dementia nurse, palliative care and occupational therapist), carers and patients. Ownership of this passport lies firmly with the patient; it contains patient demographics, basic SSKINs advice in a format easy for patients and carers to read, a section for healthcare providers (HCPs) to add information such as present treatment, equipment in use etc, and importantly, pages that allow patients/carers to note questions for HCPs.

Feedback from carers has been 100% positive.


Another great year for the Scholarship and Award programme. We will be featuring the winner's entries in more depth in forthcoming issues.