Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Are pressure ulcers always avoidable?

  • Comments (4)

Article: A communication project to prevent pressure ulcers

Author: Lyn McIntyre is deputy director: patient experience, at NHS England Midlands and East.


“A strategic health authority cluster-wide programme was established in 2011 with the aim of minimising occurrences of avoidable grade 2, 3 and 4 pressure ulcers. This aim was achieved using an engagement programme, a SSKIN care bundle for frontline staff, a pressure ulcer collaborative and a communications campaign. This article focuses on the communications campaign developed to support the SHA ambition, discussing the social marketing approach used and describing some of the resources developed to raise awareness among staff. Implications for practice are highlighted.”


Let’s discuss…

  • Have you tried anything similar in your place of work?
  • Do health professionals always know how to prevent pressure ulcers
  • Are pressure ulcers always avoidable?
  • Comments (4)

Readers' comments (4)

  • Anonymous

    Yes, all pressure ulcers are preventable.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Anonymous

    I am a Matron on a regional unit for emergency neurosurgery. My unit has not had a pressure ulcer Grade 2 or above for 16 months, so yes pressure ulcers are always avoidable. The culture of the ward is that pressure ulcers are not acceptable and are most definitely a lack of a high standard of care causing harm.
    We complete meaningful intentional rounding, follow the SSKIN bundle and educate staff in the prevention and management of pressure ulcers. We have proactive link nurses who audit assessments. We are also part of the Pressure Ulcer Collaborative sharing best practice. Pressure ulcers are never events, and that should always be remembered.
    A supportive management team to enable you to take ownership of your ward and encourage tests of change is also important.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Anonymous

    I don't agree they are always avoidable. I work in the community and whilst the majority of patients take on board the advice we give and use the equipment we provide, others do not. They have full capacity and will even pay lip service to what we are advising but we know the minute we are out of the door they are off the cushion. We live in constant fear of someone developing pressure damage due to the blame game! Unfortunately we cannot stop patients making unwise choices and short of moving in with them and documenting their choice or our suspicions we are left quite helpless with blame laid at our door. So please do not make sweeping statements such as 'all pressure sores are avoidable sometimes they are not.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Anonymous

    Working in nursing homes for many years and I have sadly come across many an avoidable sore but I always remember one gent. Other than his age he had no risks for PUs. He ate and drank fabulously, mobile, active, used emollients, shoes well fitted etc and he developed G4 ulcers on his heels. Even the TVNs were stumped! So can most be avoided, yes. All sadly not.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment.

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.