Following the highly anticipated acquisition of Westmera Healthcare Limited by the APEX Medical Corporation, the recent conference “season” gave us the opportunity to meet many of our loyal customers for the first time as Apex Medical Limited. We officially launched as APEX with a renewed vision in November at the Care and Dementia Show and the Wounds UK conferences. We were delighted by the positive response we received from so many of you.
So, what does the change mean for you? Fundamentally the Company’s business and ethos remains unaltered and we will continue to provide the same high levels of service, with the same management team we have had for over 15 years as Westmeria Healthcare. However now we are officially part of the global APEX brand we can now set our sights on establishing a stronger national distribution network, with a greater presence in the acute sector.
In addition, by becoming part of a larger global organisation, Apex Medical Limited is able to offer customers a more extensive new product pipeline including a series of new wound management devices and services, as well as benefiting from a first class Research and Development department.
It’s estimated that just under half a million people in the UK will develop at least one pressure ulcer in any given year, with the problem currently costing the NHS up to £4 billion a year. We’re an ambitious organisation, and one of our ultimate goals is to significantly reduce pressure ulcers in the UK through product innovation, education and service. As one of the founders of the “Your Turn” campaign, we are also active supporters of the Worldwide “STOP” the Pressure Ulcer Day which was on the 19th of November last year. As part of our pledge to this cause, last November, we hosted a series of clinical training sessions at our HQ to improve education and awareness that can be rolled out at a local level to reduce pressure ulcer prevalence.
High quality training is an intrinsic part of Apex’s ethos and we intend to enhance our training in the future to ensure that our “end users” whether clinical, care staff or families are confident in providing the highest standards for care. We’ll keep you updated of all our training developments in due course. I hope you enjoy catching up on our news here at Apex Medical Limited and we welcome you to the future of pressure area care as we work together to serve the healthcare needs of patients throughout the UK.
A turning point in pressure ulcer prevention
Angela Harding, Senior Clinical Manager at APEX Medical Limited explores the latest medical understanding of how healthcare professionals can help to prevent, manage and treat pressure ulcers:
Current figures suggest that around 700,000 people are affected by pressure ulcers in the UK, with over 186,617 patients developing a “bed sore” in hospital in the UK each year. People over 70 years old are particularly vulnerable to pressure ulcers, as they are more likely to have mobility problems and ageing skin. The impact on the NHS is huge, with each pressure ulcer potentially costing an additional £4,000 of care. Despite these staggering figures, research suggests that between 80-95% of pressure ulcers are avoidable. So, how can we take a co-ordinated approach across all areas of the health and care sectors to stop this problem from escalating? The good news is that in recent years the Government has taken the lead in raising awareness of the issue, the impact it is having and the burden it places on the NHS. The “Stop the Pressure” campaign has been hugely successful in bringing people together working towards this common cause, issuing some valuable educational resources and highlighting areas of best practice in the NHS.
Despite these staggering figures, research suggests that between 80-95% of pressure ulcers are avoidable. So, how can we take a co-ordinated approach across all areas of the health and care sectors to stop this problem from escalating? The good news is that in recent years the Government has taken the lead in raising awareness of the issue, the impact it is having and the burden it places on the NHS. The “Stop the Pressure” campaign has been hugely successful in bringing people together working towards this common cause, issuing some valuable educational resources and highlighting areas of best practice in the NHS.
As one of the UK’s leading innovators in pressure area care equipment, we have a duty to play our part in the prevention of this problem; and not just through our product innovations and R&D capabilities, but also by working with the “Your Turn” campaign of which we are a fonder member since its launch in 2006. This is an industry-led initiative working with health care professionals and the public to provide them with an education and awareness campaign that they can use locally to reduce pressure ulcer prevalence.
APEX’s top tips on this include:
- Avoid using fitted sheets as they may restrict the alternating cycle of the mattress. Sheets should be loose (avoidm tucking them in) and placed on top of the mattress
- Avoid using any other aids such as pillows, ankle boots, elbow protectors unless advised by the assessing clinician
- Incontinence sheets / bed pads should be kept to a minimum; body worn products are recommended if expiring incontinence (ensure good fitting and
- Avoid using pillows or blankets between the patient and mattress as this may reduce the effect of the alternating, pressure relief therapy
Maintaining a good understanding of patient care, including nutrition and hygiene is also vital. Patients are most at risk of developing pressure ulcers if they cannot move easily, have poor nutrition or are dehydrated, have additional health needs or complex conditions, are aged over 70 or suffer from incontinence. There are a number of signs that all health care professionals should look out for including checking skin regularly to spot the warning signs that a pressure ulcer is forming and looking out for discolouring, soreness and pain, particularly in areas where bones are close to the skin, such as the bottom and heels.
At APEX, we are determined to “do our bit” to improve the understanding of the condition and drive up standards in training and education for all those we work with in the industry from our own employees to customers. We believe that there is no hierarchy in educating health care staff; everyone from our technicians, to Health Care Assistants and registered Nurses should have the same understanding of how to prevent pressure ulcers. As such, last year APEX delivered pressure ulcer prevention and equipment training to over 900 healthcare customers each of whom completing a Self-Competency form which can be used as evidence of training. 90% of in house staff have completed Mandatory training in Infection Prevention, Safeguarding, Confidentiality & Information Governance and Product awareness.
If you’re interested in an education and training session at your premises please contact Apex Medical on 01322 520 560.
Apex On Show
This year’s Care and Dementia Show at the NEC Birmingham (3-4 November 2015) was particularly special for all the team, as it was our first official event as Apex Medical Limited.
Delegates were greeted by our new branding as soon asthey arrived at the show, with the entrance covered in Apex banners. Over the course of the two day show, we met thousands of delegates from across the care, acute and community sectors, as well as having one-to-one conversations with patients and their families. As ever, the show gave us an opportunity to share best practice on improving patient care, as well as helping us to understand more from our customers about their product requirements and service needs. The Keynote Theatre sessions this year provided valuable learning opportunities for delegates, with some interesting topics covered by high profile speakers.
- Bridget Warr, CEO, Chair, Guideline Development Group for Home Care, UKHCA, NICE, exploring NICE’s new home care guideline.
- George McNamara, Head of Policy and Public Affairs, Alzheimer’s Society, looking at Integrated Care and New Care Models to address the rise in dementia – 70% of residents in care homes have dementia and 1 in 4 hospital beds at any one time are occupied by a person with dementia.
- The future funding of adult social care, with Alan Lotinga, Director for Health & Wellbeing, Birmingham City Council and Nadra Ahmed OBE, Chairman, National Care Association.
Later on in the month (November 9-11), we were on show again at The Wounds UK Annual Conference at the Harrogate International Centre. We had our flags flying on flagpoles at the main entrance, which helped to ensure that in excess of more than 1,300 visitors that attended the conference didn’t miss us. We were fortunate to meet many delegates to discuss the importance of advancing technology in the pressure area care market to help health and care professionals to improve standards of care and to prevent pressure ulcers. Under the theme of ‘Integrated strategies and solutions for quality outcomes’, the Wounds UK plenary sessions provided an update on the latest clinical opinion, research and policy from around the UK.
Crisis at Christmas
This winter we are delighted to be able to make a donation to homeless charity, Crisis for their “Crisis at Christmas” campaign, helping homeless people in need over the festive period.
On Tuesday 8th December we visited The Bermondsey Crisis day centre to donate 84 of our static foam mattresses, which will be used by Crisis to help offer those in need, a warm place to sleep over the Christmas period.
Each year Crisis converts buildings across the UK to house homeless people over the Christmas and New Year period, providing them with shelter, hot meals, health checks and entertainment. This not only offers them refuge, but gives them an opportunity to enjoy their Christmas in a way they may not have otherwise, helping them overcome loneliness and providing companionship.
Call us on 01322 520 560 to discuss your patients’ needs and how Apex may be able to help with its range of dynamic mattresses.
Visit our new website www.apexmedicalcorp.co.uk to keep up to date with our latest news, training updates and product innovations.