SSKIN: 5 simple steps to prevent and treat pressure ulcers

#Tips for Running a Care Home
Read Time: 2 minutes

Pressure ulcers currently affect around 20% of patients in hospitals, nursing homes and residential homes. And, despite improvements to pressure sore prevention across many care facilities in the UK, over 1,300 new ulcers are reported each month.

Pressure ulcers and bedsores are debilitating and painful for patients and have a huge impact on wellbeing. 

Up to 200,000 people developed new pressure ulcers in 2017/2018 and treatment costs the NHS more than £1.4 million every day. Additionally, each developed pressure ulcer adds an additional cost of care of over £4,000

Developed pressure sores are a key indicator of the quality of nursing in a care facility, but the good news is that most can be easily prevented when you follow the five simple SSKIN steps. 

Preventing Pressure Ulcers with SSKIN

The SSKIN acronym was launched by NHS Midlands and East as part of their ambition to make life better for patients and the campaign has been rolled out nationally.


Make sure surfaces supporting your patient offer sufficient pressure relief. 

Skin inspection

Early inspection allows for early detection. The earlier the catch an ulcer, the easier it is to treat. 

Keep your patients moving

Regular body movement assists blood flow and redistributes pressure. 


A clean and dry patient is less likely to develop pressure ulcers.


The right diet and plenty of fluids keep the patient's skin healthy.


Preventing Pressure Ulcers with Pressure Care Cushions

Pressure care cushions can help prevent the risk of patients developing pressure sores. There are three different types of pressure cushions:

Static (Foam).

Static pressure cushions are comprised of one or multiple specialist foams that relieve pressure from the skin. Lying surface castellations, gel sacks and internal air pockets provide additional pressure relief.

An example is the Opera® Comfort Pressure Cushion.

Opera® Comfort Pressure Cushion

Alternating (Air).

Alternating air cushions are made up of a row of air cells that alternate to relieve pressure from the user's skin. Powered by a pump unit, the air cells alternate in inflation every 10-30 minutes to redistribute pressure.

An example is the Opera® Relieve Alternating Air Pressure Cushion.

Opera® Relieve Alternating Air Pressure Cushion

Hybrid (Combination).

Hybrid pressure cushions are a combination of both air and foam technologies. They have a comfortable foam surface with alternating air cells below to provide a combination of alternating therapy and immersive pressure relief.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust recorded this song to raise awareness of SSKIN as a way to prevent pressure ulcers.

If you have any questions about SSKIN and how you can support those at risk of pressure ulcers, please feel free to call one of our experienced advisers who are happy to assist you in taking the best course of action for the pressure care of your residents. 

Call 0333 257 5007 or request a callback.

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