King’s College Hospital champions inclusive care for patients with pressure sores

Matron Yumela has been integral in improving the assessment of pressure sores in patients with darker skin tones

11 Oct 2023

The Acute Specialty Medicine Care Group at Denmark Hill site KCH, care for a complex diverse patient population group particularly patients with complex comorbidities, chronic conditions and who are acuity unwell and at risk of deterioration.

Matron Yumela has been leading the quality improvement for reducing pressure ulcers within the care group. Last year she noticed that there was an increase in deep tissue injuries across the care group. She worked with the Tissue Viability Team to complete a survey with the staff to identify the challenges.

A key challenge identified during this scoping exercise was that staff weren’t always equipped to assess darker pigmented skin within the clinical areas which led to missed opportunities to identify deep tissue injuries earlier. So Matron Yumela implemented the following actions to ensure the staff had the knowledge, skills and awareness to provide safe, high quality care for their patients:

  • Tissue Viability study days and shadowing sessions with the Tissue Viability Clinical Nurse Specialists
  • Changed all the lighting in the ward areas to make it brighter and assist with better assessment for patients
  • Ensured all the bedside lights were working again to aid assessment at the bedside
  • Updated ward clinical room stock to ensure pen torches were always available to ensure that staff had access to lighting to assess patients’ skin
Matron Yumela Chetty

Great improvement has been made across the Care Group. Data is reviewed regularly and other initiatives being implemented across the Care Group include Skin Safety Huddles and the shadowing programme with the Tissue Viability Team continues to ensure knowledge is maintained across the Care Group.