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17 September 2020

Sheffield Hospitals’ community healthcare team scoop top award for pop record to raise awareness of pressure ulcers

A community nurse’s idea to create and perform an adapted version of the Pet Shop Boys hit song ‘It’s a Sin’ to raise awareness of pressure ulcer prevention has won a People’s Award for Best Social Media Moment.

Maria Levesley and the integrated community care team at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust picked up the award from Wound Care Today in recognition of the contribution the YouTube recording of their song, retitled ‘It’s SSKIN’, has made on raising awareness of the importance of pressure ulcer care. The video was made prior to COVID-19 and the regulations around social distancing.

Described by the judges as “incredible, clever and uplifting” the lyrics were written by Maria, an integrated care team nurse lead to help nurses, therapy staff, support workers and healthcare practitioners within their team follow the SSKIN five-step model for pressure ulcer prevention. The adapted lyrics refer to the risk factors of pressure damage, the signs and symptoms of pressure and how to prevent them.

Permission was given by the Pet Shop Boys to record the song and the final video has received over 9,000 views since it was filmed late last year.

SSKIN is an acronym used by healthcare professionals to aid in the assessment and care planning for people at risk of pressure ulcers: Surface, Skin, Keep moving, Incontinence and Nutrition.

The nomination for the award was made by a member of the public.

Maria said: “I wanted to write something catchy and memorable that would stick in people’s minds to raise awareness of pressure ulcer prevention within community services. SSKIN is a well-established clinical approach, and the Pet Shop Boys’ song ‘It’s a Sin’ seemed to fit perfectly.

“It’s incredible that someone has nominated our work for this national ‘People’s Award’ and that the recording of the song has made such an impact on the profession.

"Our initial intention was to use it as a learning device for community staff in Sheffield but it’s fantastic that other healthcare professionals outside our team have started to use it to heighten awareness within their own teams.

"Pressure ulcers can be incredibly serious if untreated, so anything we can do to highlight the importance of preventing damage to skin and reducing the incidence of pressure ulcers is a really positive thing for patient care.”

Pressure ulcers, also known as pressure sores or bed sores, occur when there has been damage to an area of skin and sometimes the tissues beneath. They are mainly caused by pressure being applied to the skin for prolonged periods. This could happen to anyone, but people who are less mobile, who sit for long periods of time or who are confined to bed, are more at risk.

To watch the video visit

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