Bed Sore Figures Reveal Pressure on NHS
Friday, 15th February 2013
A recent BBC documentary revealed that 42% of reported ‘Serious Untoward Incidents’ at hospitals throughout England involve bed sores.
The NHS report nearly 12,000 such incidents each year and figures obtained by Freedom of Information requests for the Inside Out programme showed that 4,966 of the last years incidents concerned the presence of severe bed sores. Bed (or pressure) sores are graded by 1 to 4 the most severe are graded at 4 and in some cases can be fatal. The Superman actor Christopher Reeve’s life was claimed by the presence of an infected pressure sore in 2004.According the NHS 95% of bed sores are ‘completely avoidable’ so the programme asked why then are thousands of people suffering unnecessarily? According to a spokesperson from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) it is because of lack of nursing staff. According to the RCN it can take up to 4 staff to turn a patient and in order to avoid pressure sores patient turning needs to occur very regularly throughout the day and night. If staffing numbers are low then this is less likely to happen.
The programme went on to interview management of the group of hospitals in the West Midlands that were highlighted as being where the number of serious incidents were at their highest.