Draperstown woman’s pioneering health seats could save NHS £millions

Martina Tierney - Clinical Director of Seating Matters

Martina Tierney - Clinical Director of Seating Matters

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A Draperstown woman is leading the way in combating debilitating sores suffered by people in care who are sitting for long periods.

Martina Tierney who now lives in Limavady has focused much of her 30-year career in occupational therapy on solving issues she experienced with her patients who had pressure ulcers.

As the Clinical Director of her company Seating Matters, Martina designed and created a range of award winning chairs after struggling to find a chair that would give pressure management, postural support and comfort, not just mobility.

Last week Seating Matters, in partnership with Ulster University unveiled ground-breaking results showing and 88 per cent reduction in pressure ulcer incidence, which could result in colossal savings for the NHS.

Over 100 invited delegates at the top of their profession attended the event in Belfast to discover how the findings of the research could be replicated in order to improve patient care across the world.

For Martina, gaining clinical evidence was vital to support the use of Seating Matters chairs.She said: “It was refreshing to see so many clinicians and healthcare educators passionate about improving the lives of people in their care.

Key Note Speakers - Michael Clark, Prof Suzanne Martin, Olivia Tierney, Martina Tierney

Key Note Speakers - Michael Clark, Prof Suzanne Martin, Olivia Tierney, Martina Tierney

“Launching our research is a significant step in our journey to a world without pressure ulcers and sharing the results globally will be vital.”

She added; “These latest findings will be showcased in multiple cities worldwide in the near future,”

The research explores the connection between a patients’ health, the occurrence of pressure ulcers and the chair a person uses. An economic study conducted by Ulster University revealed that by introducing Seating Matters chairs into NHS hospitals and replicating the results of this study would be a yearly saving of a staggering £319 million.

Seating Matters say the NHS spends over £2 billion each year treating pressure ulcers, yet 95% are completely avoidable.

Launching our research is a significant step in our journey to a world without pressure ulcers and sharing the results globally will be vital

Martina Tierney

“Furthermore, 60% of elderly with a pressure ulcer will die within one year. Not only are these stark figures, the treatment has a shocking financial burden on the health budget,” the company added. Seating Matters’ clinical team collaborated with world leading health science researchers at Ulster University to conduct a two year clinical trial.