Falls Awareness Week 2021 (20th to 26th September) – Meet our Falls Group
This Week is Falls Awareness Week which is a national week to increase awareness of simple things we can do to keep our patients safe from slips, trips and minor falls. A fall can be devastating, distressing, painful, cause injury, loss of confidence, loss of independence and even death.
For this reason, here a St Oswald’s Hospice we have a Falls (Prevention and Management) Team which was set up just over three years ago to make sure that we provide the most safe and effective care possible for the people we care for. Clare Young, Physio and Group Lead tells us more:
“The Falls group was set up in April 2018 and is a multi-disciplinary group with members from all areas of the Hospice, including the Children and Young Adults Service, Focus on Living and Learning and Development. Preventing falls at the Hospice is the responsibility of all staff but the Falls Group meets regularly to review how the Hospice are doing in reducing both the number of falls happening and what is being done to prevent them.
Just like in general life, it’s not always possible to prevent all falls in the Hospice but by working together we can reduce the chances of falls happening. Research shows that when staff such as doctors, nurses and therapists work together, they can reduce falls by 20-30%. Clare continues:
“The Group was first set up to review practice surrounding the assessment and management of falls across the Hospice following an increased incidence of falls. Since the group came together I’m pleased to say we’ve achieved lots! We developed Falls and Safe Supervision of Care policies which demonstrates our commitment to reducing falls and managing them if they do occur. Thanks to funding, we’ve invested in new falls prevention equipment including three alarmed falls beds , chair sensors, better signage and patient information leaflets and we’ve developed training for clinical staff in the assessment and management of falls which has received positive feedback.
“By offering this training it increases understanding of the risk factors for falls and how to support patients to reduce their own risk of falling, whilst maintaining their independence and respecting their choices.
“I’m pleased to say that all aspects of falls management has improved across the Hospice since the group was established and although we cannot eradicate them completely, the number of falls has reduced as has the harm from falls and that is testament to the hard work of all the staff.”
Visit the NHS website on Falls Prevention to find out how you can reduce your risk of having a fall, including making simple changes to your home and doing exercises to improve your strength and balance.