Patients, who stay at the hospital are now benefiting from new mattresses, which improve comfort, ensure better rest and aid the prevention of pressure ulcers.
The Trust has invested £132000 to replace all 300 mattresses, bringing in high-tech ‘hybrid’ systems, which maximise comfort and are designed to reduce the risk of pressure ulcers developing.
Pressure ulcers break down the skin and the tissue underneath. Anyone can develop a pressure ulcer; however, patients who are in hospital are especially at risk, often because they are unable to move around independently and, due to being unwell, lack the proper nutrition. If left untreated, pressure ulcers can become very severe and even fatal. Whilst pressure ulcers are linked to many factors, a key one is sustained pressure to areas of the body when in bed and the new mattresses are specifically designed to help combat this factor.
Kay Fawcett, Interim Director of Nursing at George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust said: “The Trust has made this significant investment to enhance patient safety, comfort and quality of care. The new mattresses offer a whole host of benefits to our patients, ensuring they receive better rest and, at the same time, reducing their risk of pressure ulcers."
The hybrid mattresses combine the benefits of a foam mattress, and the benefits of an alternating pressure mattress - a mattress that has a series of air cells that inflate and deflate alternately - by using elements from both.
When required, the new mattresses can have a pump attached, which activates and inflates different sections of the mattresses and moves the weight distribution of the patient to relieve the pressure. This works in tandem with a ‘microclimate’ feature, which prevents moisture building up on the patient’s skin, reducing the risk of pressure ulcer formation.
These mattresses form one part of the continued drive to prevent pressure ulcers, as part of the Trust’s ‘Stop the Pressure’ initiative and will support the preventative measures taken by nurses, as part of routine patient care.