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.
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.Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
Barts Health NHS Trust explain what measures frontline medical staff can take to help avoid the risk of pressure ulcers.
How to prevent and treat pressure ulcers:View
How to prevent and treat pressure ulcersView
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
"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.
Pressure Ulcer Reduction in the MSK 3Download