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Nursing director concerned at high number of patient falls

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Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust plans to bring in low rise beds and visual aids for older people to prevent people sustaining injuries through falls.

In January there were 111 inpatient falls, following 123 in December. Of these, 35 in January and 37 in December were “unwitnessed” and patients were found by staff on the floor.

“Falls remain an ongoing concern”

Vikki Carruth

Two resulted in a fracture, of which one was an unavoidable trip and the other deemed avoidable because “handover of risk was poor”.

The figures were published in a report made to the trust’s board in February by its director of nursing and quality Vikki Carruth.

“Falls remain an ongoing concern,” said Ms Carruth, who added that “considerable work” was taking place across the trust to tackle the problem.

“Any patient who falls more than once has a root cause analysis,” she said. “There are also daily reports from the risk team to the director of nursing, which highlight any patient who has had a second fall.”

She added: “Additional equipment (low rise beds etc), new visual clues/alerts and review of the post falls protocol amongst other pieces of work are being progressed.”

Commenting on the board report, a trust spokesman said the trust was “committed to reducing falls and the harm caused by falls”.

“The falls steering group, chaired by the director of nursing, is implementing a range of initiatives to support this piece of work including training, equipment and assessment,” he added.

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Readers' comments (2)

  • Surely the correlation between the high faller wards being the understaffed wards must be obvious. nursing is the hardest its been in 10 years of healthcare. this staffing crisis must be one of the main factors in falls. agency fill a gap but its not the same as a regular nurses. i know staffing gets blamed for everything but being stretched so thin is having its consequences. Nurses dont want their patients to fall. thats not why we are in this game. not only do we feel bad, worry like hell if someone is unfortunate to get injured but the sheer amount of paperwork their is to be done after a fall.

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  • wrong their. there.

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