The Marie Curie Hospice, Newcastle has won an Innovation in Care Award from Hospice UK, following the successful trial of a pioneering skin-scanning device which has helped reduce incidences of pressure ulcers by nearly 50%.
The six-month trial was the first time the SEM (Sub-epidermal moisture) Scanner had been used in a hospice setting and was kindly funded by the Albert Hunt Trust.
Staff at the Marie Curie hospice were able to detect tissue damage deep beneath the skin surface days before it was visible – significantly earlier than previously possible using visual skin inspections.
As a result, staff can now respond sooner to these early warning signs which allowed them to take preventative measures such as using pressure-relieving mattresses and applying barrier creams to help minimise patients’ chances of developing painful pressure damage.
Gillian Raine, Lead Nurse at the Marie Curie Hospice, Newcastle, said:
“As the first hospice in the UK to trial the SEM scanner, we are delighted that this new approach to a long-term challenge has been recognised with this award from Hospice UK.
“Through the introduction of this pioneering approach to skin assessment, we have not only demonstrated our credentials as leaders in our field, but also our commitment to improving the quality of life for those living with terminal illness and their families.”
Julie Pearce, Executive Director of Nursing at Marie Curie, said:
“Everyone at Marie Curie is very proud to have won this award, and especially proud of our fantastic team at the Newcastle hospice.
“This new technology and innovation has helped provide significant improvements in care to patients. The hospice’s desire to provide the best possible care for their patients is at the heart of what they do and I’m excited to think about how their trial could benefit patients across the whole country.”
At the end of the trial, Marie Curie’s staff had achieved a 47% reduction in pressures ulcers among patients, a breakthrough success that was celebrated at Hospice UK’s Innovation Awards 2018.