Hospital team take bronze at international awards

The Skin Integrity Team and Procurement Clinical Lead at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH) have scooped bronze at the Journal of Wound Care annual awards for innovations and efficiencies in wound management.

Nominated and shortlisted in two separate categories, ‘Advances in Infection and Biofilm’, as well as ‘Cost-Effective Wound Management’, colleagues at the Trust picked up third-prize in both categories amongst a highly competitive field.

The Skin Integrity Team at DBTH specialises in the prevention and treatment of wounds – aiding in the healing process as well as preventing deterioration such as infection. The 10-strong team, work with colleagues throughout Doncaster Royal Infirmary, Bassetlaw Hospital and Montagu Hospital, as well as supporting Doncaster community, providing invaluable insight, expertise and education in providing the very best care for people at risk of and living with wounds.

The first commendation came as a result of work which stretches back to 2017 when the service introduced a ‘Wound Cleansing Policy’. This meant moving from a traditional method of using saline to clean and treat wounds, to instead using polyhexamethylene biguanide (known as PHMB – a type of disinfectant and antiseptic) and a betaine solution.

Six months following the introduction of this new way of working across clinics and inpatient wards, the Skin Integrity Team undertook an audit to determine the policy’s effectiveness and each year after. Within four years, this new method of treatment was shown to reduce wound infection by around 84.3%, a staggering achievement for the team.

Colleagues also routinely amend and update the policy, to include new learning and methods for treating patients, according to the best data and research.

The second award relates to a piece of work which was commenced regarding the treatment of ‘Category Two’ Pressure Ulcers and Moisture Related Skin Damage (MASD).

Pressure ulcers develop when an individual is laying or sitting in the same position for a prolonged period of time. When a pressure ulcer develops, they are categorised according to the depth, with category two describing a wound  with a shallow opening, or blistered.

Following investigation, the Skin Integrity Team  and the Trust’s Procurement Clinical Lead found that, whilst ulcers were being treated, resources such as cleansers and dressings could often be overused, which not only had an adverse effect to the patient being treated, but was also costing the Trust money that could be better spent elsewhere.

As such, the team developed a programme of training which was delivered both in-person and virtually, to outline when products should be used, and how they should be appropriately applied. With time and the support of clinicians of the Trust, the service was able to reduce category two pressure ulcers by 18%, as well as make cost-savings of more £86,000 by not using materials unnecessarily.

Karen Jessop, Chief Nurse at DBTH, said: “I am incredibly proud of our Skin Integrity Team and the work they have undertaken with services across the Trust. As a service they work tirelessly to ensure we providing the very best care for our patients – staying on top of the latest research and products to ensure individuals do not experience one second of discomfort more than they have to in their journey to recovery. A huge well done to the team, and also a thank you for all you do.”

No strangers to success, the Skin Integrity were named Clinical Team of the Year at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals’ annual Star Awards, which took place at the Doncaster Dome in October 2022.