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Trust introduces red socks to identify falls risk patients


Special socks are being introduced to help reduce the number of patient falls at the Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals Foundation Trust.

Bright red slipper socks are being rolled out on the wards at the trust’s three hospitals in Goole, Grimsby and Scunthorpe.

The socks are being handed out to patients who have been identified as being at high risk of slips, trips and falls. As well as identifying those at risk, they have extra grip on them to help prevent falls.

Previously the trust has used red wrist bands to help identify high risk patients. But these were used for a number of other risks, including allergies, and so it was not immediately obvious that someone was at a high risk of falling.

One of the first areas to use the socks was the Medical Admissions Unit – chosen because patients tend to go on to other wards from there.

Ward manager for MAU Tracey Abbott, said: “Evidence has already shown that slipper socks reduce the incidence of falls. Now we have these in red they are much more prominent.

“When patients are transferred to another ward from the unit, staff are immediately aware they have a patient with a high risk of falling.”

Sister Jo Loughborough, lead for falls on the MAU, aded: “They do make it a lot easier for us to see which patients are likely to fall.”

If a patient comes into the trust having previously fallen, they are put onto its slips, trips and fall pathway and are given a pair of the socks.

The pathway was designed by a healthcare assistant and involves a checklist that looks at a range of factors – from whether the patient can reach the call bell, if their glasses are clean, the bed is at the lowest possible height and if they wearing the correct footwear.

The socks, which come in one-size-fits-all, are kept by the patient after discharge to try and help reduce falls in the community.


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Readers' comments (21)

  • Bare feet are far grippier than any slipper sock.

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  • Boston Red Socks?

    I wouldn't be seen dead in them!

    and how often do they get washed and how many other patients do you have to share them with?

    they would be good to hang at the end of the bed at Christmas.

    how about nightcaps as well to make you stick out in the crowd and identify you are an idiot? more labelling, discrimination and stigmatisation against different groups of patients along with the tags and GPS for the demented!
    Bonjour militarised British Institutions.

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  • it's always great when staff try and come up with a new idea for patient safety and it's often something very simple that is the most effective.

    if these socks are 'one size fits all' then they could be too big for small feet and too small for big or swollen feet and do they fit over bandages?
    presumably they are not waterproof either so what happens when they get wet which they inevitably will.

    slippers are better, these can be given to patients if they haven't already got a good fitting pair.

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  • these nurses don't look like they are too overworked and suffering from stress that the nursing press leads us to believe.

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  • I've got a good idea.......

    How about more staff on the ward so that accidents are less likely to happen !

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  • As a patient and non-healthcar professioanl I guess you can label me as an observer.

    By looking at some of these comments it seems the NHS has some very ignorant, pessismistic and lazy people working for it.

    I'm really not suprised there are so many problems (which I've had first hand experience of) in nursing care these days.

    This is just the opinion of a patient (and future nurse), take it or leave it.

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  • Anonymous | 10-May-2013 3:03 pm

    leave it thanks. your comment is no better than the ones you criticise.

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  • Are we being trolled by the readers of the Daily Wail?

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  • Why not use a branding iron? (until we are microchipped). I find the whole idea de-humanising - stick your socks where the sun doesn't shine. I expect this idea will extend to people with dementia, diabetes, epilepsy ..... and on and on!!! Perhaps there could be signs above our doors ...unclean, unclean!!

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  • "I find the whole idea de-humanising"

    NT don't seem to believe in tick boxes so I can just say I agree with the comment.

    I would like to see the staff above all wearing the same uniform and a smart one at that more becoming to their professional status!

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