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)
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 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
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Chris Pomfrett, Assistant Practitioner – React to Red (email@example.com)