Nurses have been urged to ensure safe manual handling and prompt assessment of inpatients who have fallen.
The National Patient Safety Agency issued a rapid response report to all NHS organisations in England and Wales last week, saying such action “greatly increases the chances of a patient making a full recovery”.
The agency said it received around 282,000 reports of inpatient falls every year, and that “a proportion of the patients suffering injuries did not receive prompt and correct diagnosis and treatment of their injuries”.
A significant number of these falls resulted in death, or severe or moderate injury, including around 840 hip fractures, 550 other fracture types and 30 intracranial injuries.
The report calls on nurses to check for signs of fracture and the potential for spinal injury before a patient is moved and to use safe handling methods.