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Issue:- 15 November  2012

Charity launches appeal for foster families in Merseyside

ACTION for Children has launched a new fostering service aimed at children from the North West who have encountered severe disruption, abuse or trauma in their young lives. The leading charity is now encouraging people in Merseyside to consider becoming carers .

Transform is a therapeutic foster placement programme that gives children stability in their lives, helping them to grow and develop in a family home environment. And with an estimated shortage of 1,200 carers in the North West, the leading charity is urgently calling for Merseyside locals to consider joining the programme.

Sue Atkinson-Millmoor, children's placements manager at Action for Children, said:- "Transform uses a range of therapeutic techniques to help children who have experienced severe disruption in their young lives to heal. The aim of this type of foster care is to give children who often display significant and challenging behaviour the support they need to fulfil their potential."

Each child in a Transform placement will have a weekly therapy session with a trauma and attachment specialist.

Foster carers will play a key role in this therapy, and will receive ongoing training and coaching to help them support the child.

Sue continued:- "Your experience of working with children is not as important as your attitude and interest in making Transform work. We are looking for foster carers from Merseyside who are focussed on a child's needs; interested in understanding what is behind their behaviour; and can make a long-term commitment to the Transform process to offer children and young people a stable home. I would encourage Merseyside residents who are interested in finding out more about fostering to get in touch – you could transform a young person's life."

Figures released earlier this year suggest there is a shortage of nearly 9,000 foster families across the UK. This shortfall means too many children are at risk of not getting the right foster home first time round, which heightens the chances of a fostering breakdown and their return to residential care.

To find out more about becoming a foster carer please contact Action for Children on:- 0845 200 5162 or visit their website.


FOLLOWING the execution of a warrant at a house on St Ambrose Croft, Bootle, large quantity of cannabis and clothing was discovered on Sunday, 11 November 2012. It is reported that around 250kg of cannabis resin as well as a large quantity of clothes, footwear and jewellery was recovered.

The 2 arrested have been named as Lisa Dolan, aged 38, of Ambrose Close in Bootle. She has been charged with possession of cannabis with intent to supply and will be appeared at Liverpool Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, 13 November 2012. The other was a 34 year old man from Bootle was been bailed pending further enquiries.

Superintendent Kevin Johnson said:- "This was an excellent result and we have been able to take a significant amount of drugs off our streets. We take all reports of illegal drugs activities in our communities extremely seriously and will act on all information received to put an end to the criminal behaviour of those involved in the drugs trade. Cannabis and its associated crime is a blight on our communities and we are determined to put those involved in all elements of the drugs trade before the courts. To do this we need the help of residents who may have vital information about those involved in the drugs trade to call us, anonymously if preferred, so we can take action and get these people and their drugs off our streets."

Anyone with any information is asked to call Merseyside Police on:- 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on:- 0800 555 111.

Patients protected from developing harmful bedsores at the Royal

STAFF at the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust have achieved a huge reduction in the number of patients developing bedsores whilst in hospital, with the most harmful types of bedsore completely eradicated in the last 12 months.

Bedsores or pressure ulcers are when damage occurs on the skin and underlying tissue. They are commonly caused by the weight of the body pressing down on the skin when people are unable to move for long periods or unable to shift their weight or get up. Pressure ulcers can range in severity from patches of discoloured skin, to the most serious with open wounds that expose the underlying bone or muscle.

Patients, particularly older patients, are often at risk of developing pressure ulcers and they can develop very quickly as a result of unrelieved pressure cutting the blood supply off to the skin. They can be very harmful to patients, and staff at our hospitals are taking a zero tolerance approach to serious pressure ulcers.

Mary Harrison, tissue viability nurse said:- "Preventing patients from developing serious bedsores is something that we are all extremely passionate about. It is a fundamental part of our role to provide good quality patient care that protects patients from harm. Tissue viability nurses work closely with staff on the wards to advise and support them in caring for patients who are at risk of developing pressure ulcers."

Over the last few years a number of initiatives have been introduced at our hospitals to prevent patients at risk of developing pressure ulcers including:-

A thorough risk assessment is performed on all patients within 6 hours of their admission to hospital, or when they are moved from one clinical area to another, to see if they have any skin damage and if they are at risk of developing a pressure ulcer

► Those identified as being at risk of developing a pressure ulcer are informed of their risk and an individual care plan is produced for them. Wherever feasible the patient is provided with verbal and written advice on how they can help prevent the development of a pressure ulcer

► A registered nurse checks patients for pressure ulcers at least every 8 hours

► A weekly report on the incidence of any pressure ulcers is produced lessons learnt are shared with clinicians and senior nurses

► A specialist team of 'tissue viability nurses' work closely with staff on the wards to advise and support them in caring for patients who have been admitted with a pressure ulcer to help them heal and prevent patients developing any pressure ulcers whilst in hospital

► Each ward has a designated nurse who has received specialist training in managing bedsores. All clinical staff are trained in pressure ulcer prevention at least once a year

► The Trust has invested in specialist beds and equipment which are available at all times of the day and night. Measures to reduce pressure ulcers have been fully supported by the Board.

One patient benefitting from these measures is Josie Doran from Huyton who has spent 5 weeks recovering in hospital following an operation. Josie said:- "I was unable to move after my operation and the staff had to do everything for me including helping me to change my position and check my skin for redness. I was also given a special mattress to stop me getting sore. The staff helped me whenever I called and would see me throughout the day to check how I was and make sure I wasn't in any pain. They are a great team, doing a great job!"

Diane Wake, interim chief executive said:- "Our staff cared for over 85,000 patients last year and going a whole 12 months without a single patient developing a serious bedsore is something we are extremely proud of. Preventing pressure ulcers is a key marker of high quality care and this is supported throughout our hospitals from the Board to the ward. Our staff work very hard to identify at risk patients and closely monitor that patient to ensure they do not develop serious ulcers. This achievement is a credit to all their hard work and we would like to thank them on behalf of all the patient's they have helped."

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