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Stop Pressure Ulcer Day

Stop Pressure Ulcer Day


Duncan Stang, Scottish Diabetes Foot Action Group

Today is Stop Pressure Ulcer Day, here in Scotland we have been working as part of the Scottish Diabetes Foot Action Group to put measures in place to drastically reduce the number of hospital acquired foot ulcers.

The national group, Scottish Diabetes Foot Action Group (SDFAG), which is supported by the Scottish Diabetes Group and the Scottish Government has several strands of work in progress which aim to prevent and reduce the incidence of foot disease and amputations in people with diabetes.

The SDFAG have developed, and are currently implementing, a national initiative called CPR for Diabetic feet. This initiative attempts to ensure all patients with Diabetes who are admitted to hospital have their feet Checked on admission. If they are at risk of developing a foot ulcer their feet are Protected and if they have a current foot ulcer they are Referred appropriately. 

It is hoped that this will address the existing problem across the country of inpatients with diabetes developing avoidable foot ulcers whilst under hospital care, which inevitably delays discharge and, in some cases, results in amputation and litigation.

CPR for feet was initially developed for people with diabetes but has been extended to all inpatients, to ensure that the risk of developing a heel pressure ulcer are minimised. 

The Scottish Diabetes Foot Action Group are aiming to raise awareness amongst staff in secondary care and residential care. The impact of developing a pressure ulcer is huge personally, the cost to the NHS is also huge in terms of future treatment but can also result in costly litigation. Whilst we started in Scotland we aim to bring our cost-effective work to all corners of the UK; we recently been asked to join a NHS Innovation’s Pressure Ulcer group.

Hospital acquired foot ulceration is unnecessary, delays discharge, is easily preventable, causes unnecessary distress to patients, results in litigation, and costs the NHS vast sums of money.

So whilst Stop Pressure Ulcer day is only one day in the year I would urge you to do whatever you can to reduce pressure ulcers in your area. Whether this is through providing training in your local residential home, or by speaking to the Head of Nursing within your Trust about how you can work with them to minimise unnecessary foot ulceration. Please see further information here.

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