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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