As populations continue to grow and age, there is an increasing demand for acute hospital care. Terminology such as ‘winter pressures’ has now been relabelled to ‘capacity pressures’ as it becomes an all-round challenge, not just seasonally. Our patients are getting older, sicker, and more vulnerable with increasing challenges such as pressure ulcers and falls requiring prompt action.
Immobility is a common pathway by which a host of diseases and problems can produce further disability. Patients in ITU who are chronically ill are particularly susceptible to the adverse effects of prolonged immobility. It is well documented that early mobilisation will improve patients’ outcomes.
Clinicians are facing a new reality of patient dynamics; older, larger, sicker and more vulnerable. The care of a plus-size patient can be extremely complex from physical to psychological, in addition to the multitude of comorbidities often present with obesity.
Ensuring the protection of patients is a priority in any care environment and even more so when a patient is particularly vulnerable. Caring for patients with mental health conditions can be challenging, with safeguarding and ligature risk a crucial element of providing care.
Due to increased capacities in the acute sector, the community sector have also experienced an increase of demand for their services of late. Historically, community settings have not had access to the same quality of equipment, despite the complexities of patients now present.
Comfort and pain management are high on the care plan for patients at end-of-life or in palliative care. Further suffering needs to be avoided at all costs and dignity, respect and emotions need to be managed effectively.