In common with many hospices, historically there has been a significant number of patient falls and this led to a team desire to take a proactive approach to falls management. A development group including user representation was set up with the aim of creating an individualised falls prevention care plan for use not only in the inpatient unit, but also in day-care and by the hospice at home team. This initiative was adapted from excellent work undertaken in Wales.
The existing accredited moving and handling staff trainers were recruited as champions for the introduction of this initiative which included the development and usage of;
Patient Falls Assessment Checklist
Bed Rails Risk Assessment
Falls Prevention Care Plans and
Information leaflet entitled “Reducing patient falls”
These initiatives above were supported by the use of an adapted manual handling traffic light system for patients who had recently fallen.
The champions took an imaginative and creative approach to introducing this change by incorporating role play and case scenarios in their teaching plans.
The equipment costs of approximately £8,000 for bed and chair sensors, low beds and crash mats seem a very appropriate investment when considering the results of this initiative, shown in the table above, fall numbers fluctuate but are always lower than prior to the initiative and there is an impressive year on year reduction in the number of injuries sustained. The improvements not only contribute to the organisation’s strategic objectives to improve care and safety but assist in providing essential evidence to the Care Quality Commission too.
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