Working hard to reduce the number of falls in hospital

Date: 25 September 2019

Falls team

This week is Falls Prevention Awareness Week (Monday 23-29 September), but the work to help prevent a patient’s risk of falling takes place all year round.

Falls are the most commonly reported incident in hospital and there are over 400 separate risk factors that can influence the likelihood of someone falling.

Our inpatient prevention of falls service is made up of two clinical nurse specialists, Kerry O’Neill and Glynis Collings. They support the ward areas to provide person centred care, focusing on individual interventions and plans to reduce a patient’s risk of falling.

The team aim to see all inpatients that fall in hospital in order to establish the cause and take action to prevent any further incidents and any patient referred by the wards that need more specialist input. They also co-ordinate the Emergency Department ambulatory falls service to ensure that patients aged over 65, attending as a result of a fall, are signposted to the appropriate service, such as their GP, the Community Falls Team, other specialist nurses for condition management, fracture liaison service or the medical falls clinic.

An important part of the role is to carry out research and trial new equipment and initiatives to see if patients could benefit from them.

Clinical Nurse Lead for the prevention of falls, Kerry O’Neill, said: “Here at Medway we have introduced a number of initiatives and equipment to help prevent people experiencing a fall. These include Funky Frames, which involved us decorating walking aids to make them more eye-catching and encourages people to use them. We also provide non-slip socks, hip protectors, anti-slip pads, sensor pads and alarms, and assistance alert wristbands.

“Sadly, it is not possible to prevent all falls in hospital but we are working hard to reduce the number as much as possible and put as many measures in place as we can to limit the risk of injury. It is important that we encourage patients to be mobile and independent but unfortunately this comes with the risk of a fall.

“I am pleased to say that the number of falls in our hospital is declining and we will continue to ensure patient safety is our number one priority.”

  • Summary:

    This week is Falls Prevention Awareness Week (Monday 23-29 September), but the work to help prevent a patient’s risk of falling takes place all year round.