Avoidable pressure ulcers are a key indicator of the quality and experience of patient care. Despite progress since 2012 in the management of pressure ulcers they remain a significant healthcare problem and 700,000 people are affected by pressure ulcers each year. Treating pressure ulcers costs the NHS more than £3.8 million every day.
We know that many pressure ulcers are preventable, so when they do occur they can have a profound impact on the overall wellbeing of patients and can be both painful and debilitating (Moore et al 2009). Preventing them will improve care for all vulnerable patients.
The ‘Stop the Pressure’ campaign was originally launched by NHS Midlands and East as part of their ambition to make life better for patients. The campaign is now managed by NHS Improvement under the leadership of Dr Ruth May, Executive Director of Nursing and forms part of a key ambition to support the improvement of standards of safe care.
The first year of the campaign saw providers in the Midlands and East of England achieving a 50% reduction in pressure ulcers. This was delivered by raising awareness of the causes of pressure ulcers via an extensive communication strategy, understanding the early warning signs, taking preventative measures and utilising SSKIN and the NHS Safety Thermometer. Front line staff were motivated to drive improvement in patient care for patients in their care settings Subsequent years have seen the improvement sustained and the campaign expand across some other regions.
The campaign is now being rolled out nationally to coordinate and support a sustained reduction in pressure ulcer prevalence over a period of 2 years. This will be an ambitious target that with the support of front line staff, patients and other colleagues is achievable.
The Stop the Pressure website is an improvement resource for health professionals and patients to access current information for the benefit of all at risk of pressure ulcers. It is complemented by the National Stop the Pressure Day in November each year which seeks to further raise awareness of pressure ulcers and build further movement in driving up standards of care.
The Stop the Pressure website and the TVNs who maintain its content are not affiliated with any commercial organisation and do not endorse any specific products, appliances, devices or companies.
Barts Health NHS Trust explain what measures frontline medical staff can take to help avoid the risk of pressure ulcers.
Pressure ulcers are an avoidable and costly harm. In the NHS in England from April 2015 to the end of March 2016, 24,674 patients were reported to have developed a new pressure ulcer (according to NHS Digital) while the average length of stay in hospital for patients with pressure ulcers is 25 days.View
How to prevent and treat pressure ulcersView
Stop the pressure
Pressure ulcers cause patients long term pain and distress. If you're a healthcare professional, please take a look at this two minute animation, which might be full of surprises and practical help for you and your colleagues.
How to prevent and treat pressure ulcers:View
Coming soon will be information regarding with the most current going ons with Stop the Pressure