Staff at Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust saw a 28% reduction in falls after they began a free slipper scheme at one of their mental health facilities.
Around 70 slippers were issued to older patients on four of the trust’s wards. Falls rates in the three months after slippers were provided were compared with the three months before.
A trust spokeswoman said there were 64 falls across the four wards involved in the pilot during the first three months of the scheme and 46 in the three months after.
In addition, more than four bed days were saved for every 1,000 – saving the trust money as well as getting the patient back into the community faster.
The slippers cost less than £6 a pair but were considered “robust and safe enough to do the job”.
Trust falls lead Loretta Burgess, who led the project, said: “I was concerned about some patients’ lack of access to footwear and how this could be contributing to people accidentally falling over on wards.”
She highlighted that some patients were admitted as emergencies “with no footwear or ill-fitting footwear”, while some were unable to buy appropriate footwear due to financial constraints and others had conditions that meant they had “difficulty keeping track of their belongings”.
Ms Burgess said she was looking at rolling out footwear training packs to all areas of the trust.