NHS North Kirklees and NHS Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) alongside Locala Community Partnerships are working together to support Stop the pressure month (November) and Stop pressure ulcer day (19 November) by holding two events in Kirklees. These events are taking place on 11 November in Dewsbury Market and on 17 November in the Kingsgate Centre, Huddersfield. Both of these events run from 9.30am to 3.30pm.
The aim of these events is to help people looking after relatives understand what a pressure ulcer is and how they can be prevented. As well as providing general information and leaflets there will be an opportunity to see where pressure ulcers are most likely to occur with the help of some gingerbread men and red icing, kindly donated by Asda.
Pressure ulcers are an injury that breaks down the skin and underlying tissue. They are caused when an area of skin is placed under pressure. They are sometimes known as “bedsores” or “pressure sores”. Pressure ulcers can range in severity from patches of discoloured skin to open wounds that expose the underlying bone or muscle.
It’s estimated that just under half a million people in the UK will develop at least one pressure ulcer in any given year. This is usually people with an underlying health condition. People over 70 years old are particularly vulnerable to pressure ulcers, as they are more likely to have mobility problems and ageing skin.
Dr David Kelly, a local GP and Chair of NHS North Kirklees CCG said: “Pressure ulcers tend to affect people with health conditions that make it difficult to move, especially those confined to lying in a bed or sitting for prolonged periods of time.
Conditions that affect the flow of blood through the body, such as type 2 diabetes, can also make a person more vulnerable to pressure ulcers.”
Dr Steve Ollerton, a local GP and Clinical Chair of NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG added: “These events will focus on raising awareness of the importance of looking after our skin, provide advice on how you can reduce the risk of getting a pressure ulcer and signpost to support services. It is vital that we raise public awareness, especially amongst carers and the families of those who are vulnerable to developing a pressure ulcer.”
Tracy Conroy, Tissue Viability Nurse at Locala said: “Pressure ulcers can be really painful and we want to help people understand how to prevent them in the first place. They can take simple steps such as encouraging the person they are looking after to keep moving, organising a good diet and checking their skin regularly.”
You can find out more about pressure ulcers on the NHS website http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Pressure-ulcers Remember to contact your GP or your healthcare team if you notice any signs of damage to your skin or that of someone that you care for.