Keeping the pressure high on preventionHealth care professionals have long recognised pressure sores as a problem ( 1 , 2 , 3 ). Attention has focused on the monetary cost and scale of the issue ( 4 ) in terms of pain caused and competition for finite resources ( 5 ). The Health of the Nation consultative document ( 6 ) estimated that 6.7 per cent of the adult hospital population are affected, costing the NHS at least £60 million a year. Many consider these sores preventable, and believe the deployment of resources in the health service should focus on prevention instead of treatment ( 7 ).
In early 1990, doctors, nurses and health care professionals at St George's Hospital were concerned about the number of patients with pressure sores, but were frustrated by their inability to respond appropriately when problems were identified. A one-day audit at the hospital in March 1990 suggested that 16.8 per cent of patients had a pressure sore and 51… (More)