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Pressure Ulcers

The National Wound Care Strategy Programme (NWCSP) seeks to prevent pressure damage and improve healing of pressure ulcers.

Recognising that pressure ulcers are in the top ten harms in the NHS in England, the NWCSP is working collaboratively with our commissioning organisation, the NHS England Nursing Directorate to co-design, develop and establish a national programme to reduce pressure damage. This will be delivered in partnership with the NWCSP team, the national Nursing Directorate team and national Patient Safety team.

Health and care professionals

Information to help health and care professionals prevent pressure damage and promote healing.


Information to help you look after your skin and prevent pressure ulcers (‘bed sores’).

Helping to care for your wound can help you and the professionals responsible for your wound care.

● Talk with your health care professional to agree on how you can help care for your wound.
● Know how to contact your healthcare professional if your symptoms get worse, do not improve or if you see signs of other problems such as infection.

NWCSP Pressure Ulcer Recommendations – Download

NWCSP Pressure Ulcer Clinical Pathway – Download

The aSSKINg Framework – Download

NHS Pressure Sores – Visit

NWCSP Looking after your wound – Download

Wound Dressing – Practical demonstration – Watch Video

Information to help health and care professionals prevent pressure damage and promote healing

Improving Pressure Ulcer Prevention and Care

PURPOSE-T (Pressure Ulcer Risk Primary or Secondary Evaluation Tool) is an evidence-based pressure ulcer risk assessment instrument that was developed using robust research methods – Visit

Watch how to avoid device-related pressure damage – Watch here

NWCSP Online Learning Resources
These free-to-access e-learning resources have been developed in partnership with Health Education and e-Learning for Healthcare to support the health and care workforce in developing the knowledge and skills required to enable appropriate wound care to people in any setting.  These sessions are accessible for all health and care practitioners and have been written for learners at level 4 and above  – Visit
NWCSP Core Capabilities Framework for England
This capabilities programme has been developed in partnership with Health Education England and Skills for Health.  It  identifies and describes the skills, knowledge and behaviours required to deliver high quality, person-centred wound care.  It is a single, consistent and comprehensive framework, developed by and for an interprofessional audience, only a few of whom usually work within a designated and defined Tissue Viability Service – Visit

The National Stop the Pressure programme has designed a core curriculum to guide education for nurses and other healthcare professionals on preventing pressure ulcers – Download

Over the last 20 years, in England, there has been significant investment in the collection of PU data. This effort has made an important contribution to raising the profile of PU prevention, but data collection has placed a large burden on health professionals. This has led to the unintended consequence of diverting clinical time away from clinical initiatives that would reduce the incidence and prevalence of pressure ulcers and improve healing rates for other types of wounds. The National Stop the Pressure Programme is now developing a new national PU data system to replace the National Safety Theromometer, to support quality improvement for people at risk of pressure damage.

Wounds UK Editorial: A brief history of pressure ulcer measurement in England in the last 20 years. You read the journal in full, here.

Covid Resources

COVID – Nursing Times (2020) Rethinking tissue viability services: learning from the coronavirus pandemic – Download 

COVID – The newly vulnerable population – Download 

COVID – Pressure ulcer prevention guidance when nursing patients in the prone position – Download

COVID – Skin care when proning – checklist – Download

International Pressure Ulcer Resources

The European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Pane (EPUAP) aims to provide relief for persons suffering from, or at risk of, pressure ulcers, through research and the education of the public and by influencing pressure ulcer policy in all European countries towards an adequate patient centred and cost effective care – Visit

National Pressure lnjury Panel (USA) – Visit

NHS Pressure Ulcer Categorisation Poster – Download

NHS Improvement Pressure Ulcer Core Curriculum – Download 

NHS Pressure Ulcer Prevention Guidance – Download

NHS England and NHS Improvement: PU Audit Report – Download

Secondary Care Pressure Ulcer Surveillance using Model Health System metrics – Download

Model Hospital How-to guide – Download

Pressure ulcer risk assessment is included in the 2022/23 CCG CQUIN scheme. These resources support those involved in CQUIN implementation.


Coming soon!

For a number of years, the National Wound Care Strategy Programme has collaborated with the Society of Tissue Viability to fund, create and deliver campaigns for Stop the Pressure week.

Stop the Pressure week aims to raise awareness of the impact of pressure ulcers and demonstrate how they can be prevented. Led by Clinical Lead, Jacqui Fletcher, the work of the NWCSP has contributed to the creation of various resources for the prevention and management of pressure ulcers.

Find out more about the latest Stop the Pressure activity.

More information coming soon!

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