When a patient has to spend time in hospital and is unable to move around, there is a danger that they can develop pressure sores.
These sores, which are caused by a lack of oxygen to the tissue, can develop rapidly if a patient is not moved regularly.
One group of patients who have a high risk of pressure sores are those at a neurological rehabilitation centre like the Chatsworth Centre at Mansfield Community Hospital.
However, thanks to the staff members’ determination to prevent them, the centre holds a 100 per cent record for having none of the avoidable and more serious types of ulcers.
Ward leader Maureen Bowskill says: “They can develop over night but the trouble is that you can’t see the damage straight away.”
The centre, which treats people with head injuries and multiple sclerosis (MS) among others, has specialist equipment such as pressure relieving mattresses - but perhaps the most effective weapon in the fight against ulcers is that staff members act quickly to prevent them.
“I would say it is down to excellent staff,” says Maureen.
“Staff have got a lot of knowledge on pressure sore prevention and I take pride in the fact that I don’t have to check up on them - they know what they are looking for.”
Meanwhile, patients at the centre last week praised the dedication on the nurses, doctors, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists and all those who are helping them to become independent again.
Alan Brown, from Mansfield, is recovering from an operation on his spine.
He said: “This place is brilliant. The nurses and everyone are so good. If anything is wrong, they will come and sort it out - I can’t fault them.”
Patient David Gibson, who has been coming to the centre for two weeks for around 17 years, said that pressure sores can be easily prevented by turning, while Mansfield Woodhouse resident Pam Hawkins, who is recovering after an operation, added: “The staff are wonderful. I can’t say anything bad about them. They are so kind and thoughtful - they come and turn you and check you are OK.”
Wendy Jackson, from Edwinstowe, who has MS.
“The physio comes and does some work. She’s very good.”
Janet Al-Izzi, who also has MS, described all the staff as ‘amazing’.
“I’m still walking about. Without them I probably wouldn’t be,” she said.