React To Red Skin: STOP Pressure Ulcers

Updated 03 September 2019

Pressure ulcers are a major cause of harm and distress. They are serious, localised injuries to the skin and/or underlying tissue as a result of pressure, or pressure in combination with shear. They have a huge impact on a patient’s quality of life leading to increased pain, risk of infection, depression and even death.

Pressure ulcers cost the NHS and care organisations in the UK around £6.5 billion per year. Pressure ulcers affect around 700,000 people every year, yet many pressure ulcers are avoidable if simple knowledge is provided and preventative best practice is followed. (NHS England 2017)


Our training and support to carers and care homes

NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is committed to supporting carers in providing best care and is participating in the NHS England work to roll out the React to Red initiative. The programme will have an initial focus on supporting care homes across the Vale of York and will extend to carers and domiciliary agencies.

React to Red includes an education package using a simple yet effective framework which supports carers in recognising when an individual may be at increased risk of pressure ulcer development and the simple steps that can be taken to avoid them.

The intensive face-to-face training programme - delivered by the CCG’s project team - has resulted in a 75% decrease in the incidence of reported pressure ulcers in care homes within the Vale of York, contributing to increased quality of life for residents. The full evaluation document can be viewed here.

The framework known as ‘SSKIN’ prompts carers to consider key areas important in maintaining skin integrity.

SSKIN stands for:

Surface - what mattress/cushion does the individual need?

Skin Inspection - regular skin inspection and empower individuals to check and report if possible 

Keep Moving - repositioning and regular movement

Incontinence/moisture - prevention of moisture damaging the skin

Nutrition - optimum nutrition and hydration

VIDEO: The five key messages to prevent pressure ulcers (from Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust)



The CCG are delighted to announce that the React to Red programme has been shortlisted for a Health Service Journal Patient Safety Award.The Quality and Nursing team will present to a panel of judges in September before winners are announced at a ceremony in November. This follows another shortlisting for the scheme in the Nursing Times Awards in the “Care for Older People” category, judging for which will also take place in September with winners announced in October. Thank you to all the hard working care staff in our area for their contribution to these nominations.

For more information on our nominations please follow this link


We publish a monthly newsletter which has useful updates about the react to red initiative, top tips and information on the latest care homes and carers who have been trained and got involved.

Issue No.1 April 2018

Issue No. 2  May 2018

Issue No. 3 June 2018

Issue No.4 July 2018

Issue No.5 August 2018

Issue No.6 September 2018

Issue No.7 October 2018

Issue No.8 November 2018

Issue No.9 December 2018

Issue No.10 January 2019

Issue No.11 February 2019

Issue No.12 March 2019


Our engagement across care homes, domiciliary care agencies and the public

Who to contact

The key message is: If you see red skin or think someone is at risk, report it…. ‘React to Red’

For further details, please contact Sarah Fiori, Senior Quality Lead (