Are pressure sores an act of nursing negligence?

 Here at Gregory Abrams Davidson Solicitors we have a specialist team dealing with pressure sores also commonly referred to as pressure ulcers and bed sores. 

In 2007 Ayesha Clarkson published an article in Wounds UK asking the question, are pressure ulcers an act of nursing negligence? 

The article discussed whether pressure sores which formed whilst a patient was resident in a nursing home could be considered an act of nursing negligence. The article considered whether pressure sores are preventable and whether nurses can be held to account for their formation.

She relied on research arguing that pressure sores were 95% preventable. 

This therefore led her to the question of whether nurses be considered neglectful or abusive for allowing pressure sores to develop?

It was noted that the Nursing and Midwifery Counsel protects the public by ensuring that nurses and midwives provide high standards of care for their patients and clients. 

She identified a key factor as being a nurse’s duty to identify the risk of pressure sore development and suggested that this is part of basic nursing knowledge. 

She noted that “prevention consists of a risk assessment and ensuring that the patient is repositioned according to an individualized schedule.  Two hours is the accepted maximum interval that tissue can tolerate pressure without damage.  Prolonged immobilization, sensory deficit, circulatory disturbances and poor nutrition have been identified as important risk factors”.

She highlighted that nurses have increasingly been held to account for pressure sore development and many cases that have gone to Court have highlighted poor standards of care relating to pressure sore prevention.

If you or a family member have suffered a pressure sore it is our opinion that the cause should be investigated to assess whether reasonable measures were taken to inhibit the development of what is an increasingly common but generally preventable injury.

If you or a family member/friend have suffered a pressure sore whilst under the care of a health professional whether that be in hospital or a care home you or they may be entitled to compensation.  Here at Gregory Abrams Davidson LLP we have a specialist team dealing with pressure sore cases.  Please contact us for a free initial consultation on 0151 236 5000 or 02082 09 0166 and ask to speak to Richard Malloy.  Alternatively, you can e-mail us at or fill out our online contact form and we will contact you directly.