Help us prevent falls in hospital

Posted on Thu, 30/03/2017

The Falls and Syncope Team are passionate about helping patients and trying to prevent a very common problem facing hospitals everywhere.

Falls are much more likely to happen in hospital because people are away from their usual environment and are usually unwell, while delirium, medication or unpredictable behaviour can add extra risks.

In fact, like many healthcare organisation patient falls make up the highest number of reported incidents in the whole organisation.

Prevention is key which is why we’re constantly looking at the things we can do to stop people falling, rather than treating them when they do.

Fall Awareness Week (3-7 April 2017) is a big part of this and during this time there will be four information stands across the building, and the team will be focusing on a different topic each day including:

  • Footwear and mobility.
  • Medication.
  • Sensory impact.
  • Food and hydration.
  • Creating a safe environment.

Having a fall can have a range of implications for the patient and can be highly damaging to their overall health and wellbeing. For older patients it’s not just the physical harm that can be done by a fall it’s also the future emotional and mental health issues that can come from fear of falling  or loss of independence.

Our specialist team is constantly working to look at ways of improving prevention with inpatients, outpatients and in the community. The team is made up of, two linked consultants, two specialist nurses a Specialist Occupational Therapist, a Specialist Physiotherapist  and a technical instructor.

This team completes a specialist assessment for every patient referred into the team to stop falls happening in the first place.

If you or a member of your family is coming into hospital, here are some top tips to prevent falls:

  • Keep well hydrated.
  • Make sure to take regular meals.
  • Pack or wear appropriate footwear.
  • Make sure you bring or use any walking aids that you may need.

Things our staff should be doing to help reduce falls during your stay, include:

  • Keeping areas tidy and clutter free.
  • Ensuring the ‘nurse call’ button is accessible to patients.
  • Providing an appropriate level of observation.

It’s important to understand that falls can happen anywhere including the wards, outpatients department or even a diagnostic area so always try to be vigilant and remember: falls prevention is everyone’s business.

Call us on 0191 482 0000

In emergencies dial 999 / Non-emergencies dial 111

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