Are Your Patients Feeling The Pressure?

November 19th 2020 is International Stop Pressure Ulcer Day, we created a package of resources for tissue viability nurses to increase healthcare professional and public awareness about the damaging impact of pressure ulcers, as part of NHS England/Improvement’s Stop The Pressure work.

Our symbol this year is a Love Great Skin heart designed to bring awareness to the impact of pressure ulcers. We've developed a toolkit to support the campaign. Red dots are also available should you wish to use these.

Please join us in showing your support.

Access the toolkit resources and view photographs from International Stop Pressure Ulcer Day by following this link


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, with over 1,300 new ulcers reported each month (Source NHS Digital) with up to 200,000 people developing a new pressure ulcer in 2017/18 (Guest et al 2017). Treating pressure ulcers costs the NHS more than £1.4 million every day (Guest et al 2017).

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 England and NHS Improvement under the leadership of Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer 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 saw the improvement sustained and the campaign expand across some other regions.

The campaign was rolled out nationally in November 2016 to coordinate and support a sustained reduction in pressure ulcer prevalence over a period of two years. This will be an ambitious target that with the support of front line staff, patients and other colleagues is achievable. Resources have been published in relation to the definition and measurement of pressure ulcers, a national education curriculum with further resources in development. The campaign is now working within a wider National Wound Care Strategy framework from September 2018.

A link to more information about the National Wound Care Strategy is here

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 tissue viability nurses (TVNs) who maintain its content are not affiliated with any commercial organisation and do not endorse any specific products, appliances, devices or companies.


News & Events

Stop the pressure and prevention of Device Related Pressure Ulcers

In 2019 the Stop the Pressure Programme set up a Critical Care small working group. The scope of the group included review of resources to help clinicians prevent device related pressure ulcers (DRPU). WE were fortunate to work with and obtain an educational grant from the Medical Devices and Vulnerable Skin Network which allowed us to produce 10 videos which show how to apply the device and prevent subsequent skin damage.

The videos are all available on the Stop the Pressure You Tube Channel, please subscribe as more videos will be added.


Community staff from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals have created and performed an adapted version of the hit Pet Shop Boys song ‘It’s a Sin’ to raise awareness of pressure ulcer prevention. It has been re-titled as ‘It’s SSKIN’ and you can watch the video here.

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Case Study – Critical Care

There is a passion for reducing pressure ulcers throughout the Trust. We have mandatory training sessions in our qualified practitioners orientation day and our clinical support staff induction programme, all clinical staff are required to complete a mandatory e-learning package yearly...

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Case Study - Addenbrooke’s Hospital ED

Sharing the patient story of our last grade 4 (with the consent of her and her family) across the Trust had a big impact. We presented to the Board, senior nurse forums, link nurse groups and at our Harm Free Care strategy group, The family have been fully supportive of us using the story to aid learning...

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Sign up to safety - pressure ulcers

Barts Health NHS Trust explain what measures frontline medical staff can take to help avoid the risk of pressure ulcers.

Pressure Ulcer Path

How to prevent and treat pressure ulcers:


SSKIN - five simple steps

How to prevent and treat pressure ulcers


National Stop the Pressure programme: One year on − our focus for improvement.

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.


Stop The Pressure Video

"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.

HAPU reduction in MSK

Pressure Ulcer Reduction in the MSK 3


Stop The Pressure Game

Educational board game and app developed by NHS England to support Stop the Pressure. Helps frontline staff to recognise and reduce the risk of pressure ulcer formation. Suitable for anyone working in acute, community or social care.

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The Nutrition Game

Educational board game and app developed by NHS England to support Stop the Pressure. Helps frontline staff improve knowledge and management of malnutrition and dehydration. Suitable for anyone working in acute, community or social care.

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