High Specification Foam


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In 2003, NICE issued clinical guideline 7 entitled "Pressure ulcer prevention: pressure ulcer risk assessment and prevention, including the use of pressure-relieving devices (beds, mattresses and overlays) for the prevention of pressure ulcers in primary and secondary care". Two years later, clinical guideline 29 was released called "Pressure ulcers: the management of pressure ulcers in primary and secondary care" as a collaborative exercise between the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and NICE.

It then became clear the financial impact of pressure ulcers on the NHS needed to be addressed and a significant potential saving could be made through prevention strategies. As a result, clinical guideline 179 was compiled and published, replacing the two previous guidelines.

Clinical Guideline 179

NICE guidelines

Commissioned by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and compiled by the Guideline Development Group, the new clinical guideline 179 was published in April 2014 entitled Pressure ulcer prevention, the prevention and management of pressure ulcers in primary and secondary care. Download your copy here.

One of the key topics heavily covered in the new guideline is the suggested use of High Specification Foam mattresses, overlays and cushions.


High Specification Foam (HSF)

Close up of foamNICE define HSF mattresses as 'mattresses made of high density foam or visco-elastic foam which conforms to the body contours resulting in superior pressure reduction to the standard hospital foam mattress.'

The Guideline Development Group (GDG) noted that the provision of a HSF mattress was likely to significantly reduce the risk of pressure ulcer development and as a result, reduce the NHS spend on treating pressure ulcers.

The GDG specify a HSF mattress should be used for the following:

  • Adults who are admitted to secondary care
  • Adults who are assessed as being at high risk of developing a pressure ulcer in primary and community care settings
  • For all neonates and infants who have been identified as being at high risk of developing a pressure ulcer as part of their individualised care plan
  • For all children and young people who have been assessed as being at high risk of developing a pressure ulcer as part of their individualised care plan
  • Individuals awaiting admission in Accident and Emergency, particularly those on trolleys

It is not only the mattress the patient is on that has to be considered, the GDG state consideration should be given to a high-specification foam or equivalent pressure redistributing cushion  for adults who use a wheelchair or who sit for prolonged periods.

Invacare offer a range of HSF mattresses to help you comply with the new guidelines including the Softform Premier Active 2, Softform Elite and the Softform Cot mattress.

What makes a HSF mattress?

The Invacare HSF mattresses:

  • Have high density foam
  • Fabricated from high quality CMHR (Combustion Modified High Resilience) foam
  • Constructed using material from a UK market leading supplier

Invacare are renowned suppliers of pressure redistributing mattresses and we pride ourselves on manufacturing first class products to the healthcare industry: 

  • Global leader in the manufacture and supply of Healthcare Equipment
  • Knowledgeable in the 'Static Led Approach'
  • Over 28 years experience in the industry
  • Follow stringent quality procedures
  • Have an Invacare Clinical Specialist
  • Highly trained mattress audit team on hand
  • ISO 9001:2008 / ISO 13485: 2003 accredited
  • Products are CE marked and meet regulatory requirements
  • A member of the BHTA (British Healthcare Trades Association)

If you would like to find out more about the Invacare HSF range or would like to arrange a product demonstration, please contact your local Invacare Business Development Manager.

Did you know…?

Invacare offer a free of charge consultancy service to assist with support surface management. If you are looking for advice on how to reach your KPI's, achieve your CQUIN targets, bring your mattresses in line with the new NICE guideline or just want some guidance to ensure you get the most out of your mattresses, our FOC service could be just what you need.

To make an appointment for a consultation or to discuss the NICE guidelines in more detail, please contact:

Annie Allsopp

Annie Allsopp

Invacare Clinical Specialist

T: 07973 437 085

E: aallsopp@invacare.com




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