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Applying SSKIN bundle education and dermal pads in residential homes to improve the quality of care

Due to concerns over pressure ulcer incidence data, a collaborative project was undertaken with the aim of improving quality of care within residential homes, specifically in relation to pressure ulcer prevention. The project comprised a residential home staff education programme based on the SSKIN bundle. The objective was to enhance staff awareness of pressure ulcer risk and their knowledge of pressure ulcer prevention approaches, such as the appropriate use of skin care products (ProshieldTM; H&R Healthcare) and the targeted use of local pressure-relieving methods such as dermal pads (AdermaTM; Smith & Nephew). To support residential home staff in putting pressure ulcer prevention theory into practice, skin care products and dermal pads were made more easy for staff to access, thereby facilitating the desired change in practice. Implementation of the project was supervised by the local tissue viability team. Tissue viability nurses — with the support of Smith & Nephew — delivered an educational package to the staff in each residential home including the SSKIN bundle and the appropriate use of local pressure-relieving techniques. A ‘stock-box’ containing supplies of dermal pads and skin care products was provided for each residential home immediately after the training — this meant that the staff could begin using these as soon as a risk assessment identified a patient who needed off-loading. Pressure ulcer incidence data routinely captured before the project began was compared with data from a similar time period following the project — this helped the authors assess and reflect upon the impact of the project.