Table 9Measures that could be used as a basis for an audit

CriterionStandardExceptionDefinition of terms
Allocation of pressure-relieving devices, includes mattresses and overlays, both high-tech and low-tech
Recommendations 1, 2, 3, 4, 8
Pressure-relieving devices are offered to all individuals vulnerable to or at elevated risk of developing pressure ulcers, as determined by holistic assessment - the results of which are documented in the patient's health care notes - within an agreed timescale.
Individuals cared for on pressure-relieving devices are moved to an alternative device if their condition changes, within an agreed timescale.

The device is appropriate for the individual (for example, a high-tech device that may be unstable for patients with fractures).
The patient declines a particular device.
The device has been reported by the patient or their carer or is known to the health professional to be harmful or unacceptable to that patient.
The holistic assessment as described in recommendation 1 will assist with identification of patients deemed as vulnerable to or at elevated risk of developing pressure ulcers.
Repositioning while being cared for on pressure-relieving devices
Recommendations 5, 6, 7
Individuals cared for on a pressure-relieving device have their repositioning needs and sitting times determined by a regular review of individual needs100%None
Patient/carer information
Recommendation 10
Individuals who are allocated pressure- relieving devices and their carers receive written and verbal information about the device, its operation and management and its role in the prevention of pressure ulcers. This information includes the lay version of this guideline100%NoneTrusts should agree on the type of information to be made available, by whom and when.
Staff education/knowledge
Recommendation 9
Staff caring for people vulnerable to or at elevated risk of pressure ulcers are educated in:
  • risk assessment
  • the safe use and operation of pressure- relieving devices
  • the monitoring of any adverse consequences associated with pressure- relieving devices.
100%NoneTrusts should ensure that each clinical setting has access to advice on handling pressure-relieving devices, including safety, decontamination and the reporting of adverse events.

From: 8, Audit criteria

Cover of The Use of Pressure-Relieving Devices (Beds, Mattresses and Overlays) for the Prevention of Pressure Ulcers in Primary and Secondary Care
The Use of Pressure-Relieving Devices (Beds, Mattresses and Overlays) for the Prevention of Pressure Ulcers in Primary and Secondary Care.
NICE Clinical Guidelines, No. 7.
National Collaborating Centre for Nursing and Supportive Care (UK).
Copyright © 2004, Royal College of Nursing.

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