Health chiefs ‘back’ nurse Linda’s design

Community Nurse Linda Harris using the Harris Trolley with patient Jean Hunter.
Community Nurse Linda Harris using the Harris Trolley with patient Jean Hunter.

A SPALDING nurse has been instrumental in designing an innovative piece of equipment which will help improve treatment for both patients and nurses.

Community nurse Linda Harris worked with the Lincolnshire Community Health Services (LCHS) Back Care Team to find a solution to injury and pain in nursing staff caused by continual kneeling and lifting when cleansing and treating patients with leg ulcers.

They came up with the Harris Trolley – an adjustable trolley, which allows the nurse to bathe and cleanse leg ulcers at a height that is suitable for the patient and the nurse.

It is used as part of a new package of equipment, including an operator chair and electric treatment couch, which has been produced in partnership with engineering company Plinth 2000.

Mrs Harris, who is based at the Johnson Community Hospital, said: “Effective treatment, cleansing and dressing of leg ulcers is vital to ensure the patient recovers as quickly as possible. In the past nurses could be kneeling for hours at a time in clinic causing strain to knees, back and neck.

“It was necessary to lift heavy bowls of water from the floor to bathe the leg ulcer. About £500,000 is lost through staff absence each year from musculoskeletal related sickness but this tool will help to reduce these numbers and improve working conditions for the nurses.

“Input from the back care team has been vital to the success of this project. They have helped to design and develop the trolley with nursing experience from myself to create a safe and effective tool to benefit everybody.

“We are delighted that Plinth 2000 has been able to create something that will mean a safer working environment for nursing staff.”

The Harris Trolley is currently being used in LCHS’s South East Business Unit, which covers South Holland and Boston, and it may be rolled out across other areas of LCHS in the future.

A full leg ulcer package, which includes an electric couch, operator chair and the Harris Trolley, costs about £3,000.