Five simple steps to prevent pressure ulcers announced

Stop the Pressure campaign aims to prevent 80 per cent of hospital-based pressure sores

Nurses and other healthcare workers could prevent 80 per cent of hospital-based pressure ulcers and save the NHS more than £1 billion a year using five simple steps, according to a campaign.

The cost of pressure ulcers for the UK health service is estimated to be between £1.4 billion and £2.1 billion each year. Some 186,000 patients develop ulcers in English hospitals annually, each adding £4,000 or more to the cost of care. 

The Stop the Pressure campaign, which has been relaunched ahead of NHS Change Day on March 11, calls on clinicians to follow five steps called SSKIN to prevent pressure ulcers. 

The steps are: S = surface – make sure your patients have the right surface, that is mattress, to sleep on; S = skin inspection – early inspection means early detection and clinicians should show patients and carers what to look for; K = keep your patients moving; I = incontinence/moisture – your patients need to be clean and dry; and N = nutrition/hydration – help patients have the right diet and plenty of fluids.

NHS England regional chief nurse for the Midlands and the East of England Ruth May said: ‘Avoidable pressure ulcers are a key indicator of the quality of nursing care. Preventing them will improve all care for vulnerable patients.'

NHS Change Day is the health service’s own grassroots movement through which clinicians make changes to their practice to improve patient care and wellbeing. 

For more information about the pressure ulcer campaign, click here


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