In the UK, over 700 000 patients are affected by pressure ulcers each year, and 180 000 of those are newly acquired each year. The occurrence of pressure ulcers costs the National Health Service (NHS) more than 3.8 million every day. In 2004, pressure ulcers were estimated to cost the NHS £1.4–£2.4 billion per year, which was 4% of the total NHS expenditure. The impact on patients can be considerable, due to increased pain, length of hospital stay and decreased quality of life. However, it is acknowledged that a significant number of these are avoidable. In early 2015, it was identified that for the North East and North Cumbria region the incidence of pressure ulcers was higher than the national average. Because of this, a 2-year Pressure Ulcer Collaborative was implemented, involving secondary care, community services, care homes and the ambulance service, with the aim of reducing the percentage of pressure ulcers developed by patients within their care. The Breakthrough Series Collaborative Model from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement provided the framework for this Collaborative. In year 1, pressure ulcers were reduced by 36%, and in year 2 by 33%, demonstrating an estimated cost saving during the lifespan of the Collaborative of £513 000, and a reduction in the number of bed days between 220 and 352.
Wood, J., Brown, B., Bartley, A., Batista Custódio Cavaco, A. M., Roberts, A. P., Santon, K., & Cook, S. (2019). Reducing pressure ulcers across multiple care settings using a collaborative approach. BMJ Open, 8(3), e000409. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjoq-2018-000409