News release

New Program to Support Serious Pressure Injuries

Nova Scotia is partnering with the federal government to expand a program that helps prevent and manage pressure injuries and complex wounds in continuing care.

The provincial wound management program was identified as a priority by the long-term care sector. The expansion will include ongoing education and clinical support provided by wound-care clinicians.

“The availability of wound-care clinicians will help ensure Nova Scotians receiving continuing care across the province have access to preventive and responsive treatment as quickly as possible,” said Minister Zach Churchill. “This is part of government’s ongoing efforts to improve outcomes for residents with these types of injuries.”

The pressure injury initiative began in 2018. The goal is to complement and standardize practices for prevention of pressure injuries within long-term care that align with best practices.

To date there have been education sessions held across the province, homes have received pressure-reduction mattresses, special cushions and wedges for positioning supports, and a pressure-injury toolkit was developed to reflect current evidence-based practices.

Implementing a pressure injury prevention strategy was a recommendation of the Expert Advisory Panel on Long-Term Care.

The Health Association of Nova Scotia will implement the program, hiring five clinicians – one coordinator and four wound-care consultants to work in each health-care zone.

The program includes:

  • consultation for complex, challenging wounds
  • a team-based approach to implement best practices
  • sector education to prevent and manage pressure injuries
  • information regarding current evidence-based wound-care products

The program will cost $675,000 for its first year, with an estimated ongoing annual cost of $660,000. Funding comes from the Canada-Nova Scotia Home and Community Care and Mental Health and Addiction Services Funding Agreement.

It is one of several initiatives introduced to improve outcomes for Nova Scotians in continuing care, including a wound-management policy for nursing home and residential care facilities, $1.68 million in funding to Canadian Red Cross to provide long-term care homes with specialty equipment, and public tracking of quarterly data related to pressure injuries: https://novascotia.ca/pressure-injuries-in-long-term-care/

Quotes:

As a health provider I am thrilled with the addition of wound-care consultants for every health zone. Prevention and management of wounds can be complex and involves a team approach. Staff now have the support to link their expertise with the consultant to provide best practice wound care for long-term care residents. As a member of the expert advisory panel, I am pleased this recommendation has moved from a sector request to reality. Cheryl Smith, member, Expert Advisory Panel on Long-Term Care

Quick Facts:

  • a pressure injury is an injury to the skin or underlying tissue, usually over a bony area of the body, caused by pressure or friction
  • pressure injuries are often called bedsores or pressure ulcers
  • there are about 8,000 Nova Scotians living in provincially licenced and funded long-term care facilities and about 17,000 Nova Scotians who receive provincially funded home-care services

Additional Resources:

The Canada-Nova Scotia Home and Community Care and Mental Health and Addictions Services Funding Agreement: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/corporate/transparency/health-agreements/shared-health-priorities/nova-scotia.html

The Minister’s Expert Advisory Panel on Long-Term Care Recommendation: https://novascotia.ca/dhw/publications/Minister-Expert-Advisory-Panel-on-Long-Term-Care.pdf

Nova Scotia’s Wound Management Policy for Nursing Home and Residential Care Facilities: https://novascotia.ca/dhw/ccs/policies/wound-management-policy.pdf

Health Association of Nova Scotia: https://www.healthassociation.ns.ca

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Media Contact:

Marla MacInnis
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