National Pressure Ulcer Prevalence and Quality of Care Audit – Cohorts 1 and 2 National Stop the Pressure Programme: Audit report

John Stephenson, Jacqui Fletcher

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


Pressure ulcers remain a concerning and mainly avoidable harm associated with healthcare delivery. In the NHS in England, 24,674 patients were reported to have developed a new pressure ulcer between April 2015 and March 2016 (data from Safety Thermometer) and treating pressure damage costs the NHS more than £3.8 million every day. Finding ways to improve the prevention of pressure damage is therefore a priority for policy-makers, managers and practitioners alike.
Whilst the prevalence of pressure ulcers has been measured in many settings over the last 50 years or so, with a small number of exceptions, these have usually been in individual organisations or specific sub-groups of patients. Few studies have sought to review the number of pressure ulcers present or to link this to the level and type of care patients have received. This approach is a significant undertaking, and for this instance has initially been undertaken only in hospital settings, in which it is much easier to capture data on a large scale.
There is an intent to further develop the data capture mechanism to encompass other care settings such as community and nursing homes.
This inaugural National Stop the Pressure Ulcer audit of over ten thousand patients in England across 36 hospitals in 18 NHS Trusts has been undertaken against the key elements of the aSSKINg clinical care bundle during 2019/20.
The results provide insight into both the range of pressure ulcers harms seen in individual patients and importantly also the care provision for those patients supporting a deeper understanding of clinical care delivery in practice and an ability to understand opportunities for further quality improvement approaches.
The findings from this audit will now further support quality improvement work being undertaken at a national level by the NSTPP programme. Importantly it will also support individual hospitals to continue their focus to reduce the harm from pressure ulcers for patients.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherNHS England
Commissioning bodyNHS England
Number of pages46
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


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