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Nurse-led measures helping trust to reduce patient falls

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Nurses have successfully introduced a series of measures to reduce patient falls, according to a hospital trust in the North West.

As a result, over the past four years, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust said it had steadily reduced the number of falls that resulted in patient harm.

“Kim and her team have done an amazing job in embedding these measures”

Joann Morse

A spokeswoman told Nursing Times that the number of patient who fell sustaining a harm 2015-16 was 343. However, it saw nearly 190 less falls in 2016-17, said the trust. 

All wards across its three main sites have introduced a series of particular measures aimed at patients who are most at risk of falls.

These include a falls and medication assessment being carried out on admission, anti-slip socks that give patients more grip on hospital floors and low- rise beds with a crash mat placed beside.

Others include fall sensor mats, which set off an alarm when a patient moves out of their seat or bed, and “call don’t fall” posters encouraging those who need support to ask staff before moving.

The trust also noted that it had introduced “dedicated falls bays” for higher risk patients that needed increased nursing supervision.

In addition, staff will carry out a supplementary care bundle assessment if a patient is over 65 or more vulnerable to falls.

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust

Nurse-led measures helping trust to reduce patient falls

Karen Wilson

Kim Wilson, assistant chief nurse for the trust’s patient safety unit, said: “We have introduced a number of measures to improve our patient’s safety whilst still allowing them their independence.

“We are extremely pleased with the results but we will continue to look into new ways of preventing and reducing patient falls even further,” she said.

Joann Morse, the trust’s deputy chief nurse, added: “Kim and her team have done an amazing job in embedding these measures to ensure the safety of our patients is paramount.

“Apart from the obvious reduction in pain and distressed associated with these harms to patients and their families, the measures have reduced extended length of stay and cost to our healthcare economy by a considerable amount,” she said.

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