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.
Pressure ulcers can affect anyone from newborns to those at the end of life. They can cause significant pain and distress for patients. They can contribute to longer stays in hospital, increasing the risk of complications, including infection and they also cost the NHS in the region of more than £1.4 million every day. And most are preventable.