The new Falls Prevention Toolkit includes guidance for hospital staff on how to identify people most at risk of falls and how to prevent falls while in hospital.
The Toolkit includes a booklet giving advice and information on the common ways people fall and how these can be avoided, which has been produced by NUH as part of National Patient Safety Week (15-21 November 2010).
It includes facts on why people fall in hospital and the affect it can have on patients – plus information on how to prevent falls at home. Simple things such as making sure patients are using their correct spectacles and suitable shoes or slippers can help to reduce falls.
Around 3,500 falls are recorded at NUH every year and, on average, one of these patients suffers a hip fracture every week. Older people in hospital are at very high risk of falling because they are ill, often confused and are being cared for in unfamiliar circumstances. Whether in hospital or not, the common reasons for people falling include:
- Not enough exercise, which can result in weak muscles and feeling off balance
- Not drinking enough fluids which can cause dehydration
- Problems with eyesight
- Medicines which affect blood pressure, make you drowsy or cause dizziness
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Clothes and shoes which don’t fit properly.
Dr Rob Morris, NUH Consultant Geriatrician, said: “Falls can happen to anyone at any age but they become more common as we get older. Working out what things are going wrong and putting them right is the key to making our elders feel safer and more confident. The new Toolkit will help us to reduce falls among in-patients and the harm that occurs as a result. The information leaflet can help people to avoid accidents and gives advice on how to stay safe.”
To view the leaflet, or for more information about patient safety visit the NUH website at www.nuh.nhs.uk.