Judges have shortlisted two projects from Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT) in the Nursing Times Awards – the Oscars of the healthcare world.
Both projects have the potential to make big improvements in patients’ quality of life, and are being studied by clinicians across the country and abroad. The winners will be announced at a glittering awards ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on October 31, 2018.
Our biofilm project has been shortlisted in the Innovation in Chronic Wound Management category.
The project – or pathway – was developed by LPT’s Anita Kilroy-Findley, and implemented by VickyForknall with medical
supplies company B Braun and L&R Healthcare. It centres on an innovative method of treating wounds that have failed to heal using
traditional healthcare. These can include surgical wounds, foot injuries for people with diabetes and pressure sores or ulcers, but most are leg ulcers in older people.
The pathway follows recent research on wounds that fail to heal. It was discovered that in certain circumstances a low-level bacterial infection called a
biofilm formed over the wound, creating a covering that was impenetrable to conventional dressings and immune to medication. The pathway involves physically removing unhealthy tissue (the biofilm), and antimicrobial dressings.
One patient the team worked with successfully was John Hill, 78, of Thurnby, Leicestershire, who had painful leg ulcers. Before the treatment, he avoided
visiting his grandchildren in case they bumped into his painful wounds, and kept away from other social gatherings because of the smell from the open sores.
He said: “I was reluctant to go and visit people. When I went to visit my grandchildren I was putting cling film around my legs to try to stop the smell
getting out. “I was thinking amputation would be a better option than carrying on – that’s how bad it was.”
Mr Hill was told a new procedure was available which might improve his situation, but it would involve some pain.
“I said it can’t be any more painful, let’s do it.
“The smell soon went and I’m more mobile again. It’s like a huge weight lifted
off my shoulders.”
Anita Kilroy-Findley, clinical lead with LPT’s tissue viability team, said: “We have had patients with ulcers for five years and we have healed them in four months.
“The potential for it is massive.” Persistent wounds are believed to be costing the NHS nationally more than £4 billion a year.
Our enriched model of dementia project has been shortlisted in the Care of Older People category.
It aims to improve the experience of people with dementia while they are hospital patients. LPT won a £75,000 grant to embed the Enriched Model of Dementia into the two dementia wards at the Evington Centre, Leicester, that serve Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
The approach involves getting to know the patient’s background, work history, culture and beliefs in addition to their clinical history and uses this to tailor
Dr Sam Hamer (pictured), a consultant psychiatrist specialising in Mental Health Serves for Older People, said: “Our staff will know the patients better as people
rather than just an illness, and so are able to anticipate and respond to their needs in a far more human way.”
She gave as an example a female patient who showed little interest in food – a common issue among people with dementia. Staff spoke to her husband,
realised that she was deeply religious and was used to someone saying a blessing before meals. The staff started saying a blessing with the patient and the patient responded to this cue by eating more.
Staff have developed personalised approaches to meeting individual patients needs which has helped patients to become less frustrated or distressed.