Pressure ulcer standards

Standards for prevention and management of pressure ulcers

Pressure ulcers are described as “an injury that breaks down the skin and underlying tissue. They are caused when an area of skin is placed under pressure and are sometimes known as ‘bed sores’ or ‘pressure sores’.”

Pressure ulcers can occur in any person who has limited mobility, or who is acutely ill or malnourished. Other factors that can contribute to a person being susceptible to developing pressure ulcers include diabetes, palliative and end of life care, incontinence and nutrition.

We have developed new standards for the prevention and management of pressure ulcers:

This document specifies a minimum set of performance standards for the prevention and management of pressure ulcers and can be used to reinforce national consistency and drive improvement within health and social care services responsible for pressure ulcer care across Scotland.

The standards have been developed to support staff and organisations to ensure the highest standards of pressure ulcer care are achieved, and each standard identifies what it means for organisations and staff. However, each standard also details what people receiving care, their representatives and the public can expect of healthcare and social care services in Scotland following implementation.

Podcast: Relieving the pressure – first standards for health and social care

In this podcast we visit Greenfield Park Care Home in Glasgow to find out how the standards will benefit the care they provide.

Standards overview

The sections below will give you an overview of each of the 6 standards we have developed in relation to the prevention and management of pressure ulcers. Detailed information including the rationale and criteria for each standard can be found by downloading the full publication. 

The organisation demonstrates leadership and a commitment to the prevention and management of pressure ulcers.

The organisation demonstrates commitment to the education and training of staff involved in the prevention and management of pressure ulcers, appropriate to roles and workplace setting.

Information and support is available for people at risk of, or identified with, a pressure ulcer, and/or their representatives

An assessment of risk for pressure ulcer development is undertaken as part of initial admission or referral, and informs care planning.

Regular reassessment of risk for pressure ulcer development or further damage to an existing pressure ulcer is undertaken to ensure safe, effective and person-centred care

A person-centred care plan is developed and implemented to reduce the risk of pressure ulcer development and to manage any existing pressure ulcers

People with an identified pressure ulcer will receive a person-centred assessment, a grading of the pressure ulcer and an individualised care plan

More information

Published Date: 30 September 2016


What is a standard?

A standard is a statement of an expected level of service which demonstrates delivery of person-centred, safe and effective healthcare, and promotes understanding, comparison and improvement of that care.

Standards can be used for national consistency and/or for local improvement.

Contact the team

Jen Layden, Programme Manager:
0141 227 3259

Karen Grant, Project Officer:
0141 225 5569