Its pioneering work to prevent patients developing the condition, more commonly known as bed sores, won the Improving Patient Safety category of the Awards which were announced in the All Nations Centre, Cardiff this afternoon.
The work was developed as part of the 1000 Lives Plus programme to improve quality of care and reduce harm, waste and variation in NHS Wales.
The NHS Wales Awards are presented to organisations that have showed innovation, best practice and achievement in healthcare to improve the care and services provided to patients across Wales.
Nicola Williams, Assistant Director of Nursing, ABM University Health Board said:
"Winning an NHS Wales Award is a tremendous boost for all our staff across the 96 wards in ABM University Health Board who have implemented this work which is significantly reducing incidents of pressure ulcers in patients.
"We are now planning to roll this out to the community, in care homes and through district nursing, to ensure as many people as possible benefit.
“We are determined to try and make pressure ulcers a thing of the past and deliver the best possible care for patients.”
The Health Board has led pilot work to develop and implement a new method called a SKIN bundle which looks at four key areas to improve patient care; the surface of the skin, keeping the patient moving, incontinence and nutrition.
Patients are regularly assessed for risk of developing a pressure ulcer and their results clearly recorded on a chart at the bottom of their bed. The new measures were initially implemented on Anglesey Ward in Morriston Hospital before being rolled out to wards across the health board.
In the three years that Anglesey ward has been using the bundle only one pressure ulcer has developed and the annual incident rate has dropped from 4% to zero.
Some wards across ABM have gone more than 600 days without a pressure ulcer and a high percentage have gone more than 400 days without an incident.
All patients within the trolley and resuscitation bays of A&E are being assessed and the SKIN bundle implemented.
Prior to these changes, wards were reporting around 4-6 patients a month arriving on their wards from A&E with skin damage. There have been no such incidents reported since the implementation.
The work is being spread across Wales through the 1000 Lives Plus programme and internationally including Scotland, England and Denmark.
Judging the award, Jan Davies, Director of 1000 Lives Plus, said: “This is an excellent example of an organisational cultural shift which is making a real difference to patient care.
“There used to a belief that pressure ulcers were an inevitable outcome for some hospitalised patients but now we know that they can and should be avoided and staff are dedicated to ensuring this happens.
“This work, which is an integral part of 1000 Lives Plus through the transforming care programme, has delivered fantastic results and the best practice is being shared not only across NHS Wales but further afield to ensure pressure ulcers become a thing of the past.”
ABM also had three other projects shortlists in the 2011 NHS Wales Awards:
Category: Citizens at the centre of service redesign and delivery.
Offering mothers-to-be virtual tours of maternity options
Deciding how and where to give birth can be a bewildering issue, so staff at ABM came up with an innovative way to help. The communications and midwifery teams worked with new mothers to produce a set of six online videos to help pregnant women make informed choices about where to give birth.
Seen F.A.S.T. now act faster – improving Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA) outcomes for patients in Swansea
Urgency is the key when treating people who may have suffered a TIA, more commonly known as a mini-stroke. Specialist stroke staff at ABM have worked closely with GPs to ensure patients receive more rapid recognition of symptoms of stroke, quicker assessment and timely treatment. A multi-disciplinary group was set up to look at improving clinical outcomes by taking a patient-centred approach within existing services and resources.
Category: Promoting better health and avoiding disease
The talk to baby project
An innovative DVD, devised by Speech and Language Therapists, Midwives and Community Nursery Nurses, is helping teenage mothers to understand the importance of communicating with their babies. The Talk 2 Baby project was developed after a teenage mother asked a member of staff if she needed to talk to her baby as she couldn’t see the point as the baby couldn’t understand.