The 2015 Beaumond House request to The Star Trust included two items which were considered to be essential in enabling Beaumond House to continue to offer the highest standard of care to our patients who have terminal illnesses or who may come to us for end of life care. As people approach the end of life they may need to be cared for in bed all the time as they become weaker and are no longer able to sit in a chair or move around. This puts the person at high risk of developing pressure ulcers along with other factors. It is therefore important that we provide a support surface (mattress) that offers both comfort and pressure relieving qualities. We requested two CuroCell Cirrus Mattresses and two, although the generosity of the Star Trust enabled us to purchase four, pressure relieving riser recliner chairs meaning we now have one in each in-patient bedroom. When using the mattresses which preceded our purchase of Curocell Cirrus mattresses patients frequently commented that they could not sleep because of the noise that the mattress made whilst performing its pressure relieving activity. Patient’s reported feelings of sea sickness and that they could feel the cells inflating and deflating beneath them, which was unpleasant at times. Our only action previously would have been to downgrade the mattress being used by the patient to a non-pressure relieving mattress resulting in a potentially uncomfortable and distressing transfer for patients added to a then increased risk of developing pressure sores.
The mattresses were received on 13th January 2016 and to date have been used by 14 patients. Since using the new mattresses, we are so pleased to report that our health care assistants and nurses often report that patients have slept well. ‘Lovely night’s sleep’ being the words of one. Since we have been using these mattresses, no patient who has been nursed by Beaumond House has developed or had a deterioration of a pressure sore.
The riser recliner chairs have also offered an increased quality of life to patients, particularly those who are at the end of life. The support and alternative cushioning provided by these chairs means they are adaptable to patients of different sizes and weights offering the most suitable comfortable for a wide range of patients. We purchased four Oska Regis riser recliner chairs, one for each of our in-patient bedrooms with added inserts and to ensure they give additional pressure relief.
The chairs were received on 19th February and to date 21 patients have been supported, with access to the chairs.
In March Beaumond House was asked to look after a gentleman who was in the last days of his life. This gentleman’s condition meant that he was more comfortable in a sitting and upright position. It was his wish that that he be out of bed and sitting, with his family around him. The chairs we have purchased mean that patients can remain in the chairs for longer periods and avoid making uncomfortable and distressing transfers from bed to chair and vice versa. In this instance it was the gentleman’s wish that he be upright with his family around him at the end of his life and we were able to respect that wish knowing he was comfortable.