• Led by Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, in partnership with Plymouth University, the University of Southampton, Cedar NHS Wales, Livewell SouthWest, and Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust.
  • Scaling up an innovative way of working and new technology that helps to reduce and prevent pressure ulcers in people at high risk of developing pressure ulcers.
  • Introducing continuous pressure monitoring and pressure adjustment using mattress and chair sensors across three sites. 

Approximately 500,000 people in the UK will develop at least one pressure ulcer in any given year. Pressure ulcers usually affect people with an underlying health condition, who often have high levels of frailty. Many pressure ulcers develop when people are in their own homes, or in a nursing or residential home. 

Research into preventing pressure ulcers has mostly focused on the hospital setting, rather than in community settings where highly dependent patients may only be seen twice a day by a carer.

A previous Health Foundation project found that many of the chairs and mattresses currently used are not fit for purpose for use in the community with patients who are quite immobile and who do not change position much. It also found that technology can achieve good clinical outcomes for patients.

This project is taking these innovative ways of working and new technology, and scaling them up to three sites. 

Mattress and chair sensors continuously measure and record the patient’s body surface pressures. A computer displays the interface pressures in real time and visually identifies the areas of the body under sustained pressure. This helps the patient or carer to better understand the positions that are likely to reduce the risk of pressure ulcers. 

The equipment is in place and all three adopter sites began patient recruitment in November 2018. A quality manual and suite of training guides have been developed to guide clinical teams in the use of the pressure monitoring intervention, and interpretation of the data collected. 

A YouTube channel has been established, which will be used to share training videos initially, and patient stories and clinical best practice examples as the project progresses. 

All three adopter sites have already reported that the intervention has facilitated huge improvements to patients’ quality of life.

About this programme


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