Number of falls decreases with help of prevention toolkit

Introduced at NUH six months ago, the successful toolkit is being celebrated as part of national Falls Awareness Week (20-24 June).

The toolkit, which was introduced to all adult wards at the Queen’s Medical Centre and City Hospital, includes a booklet giving advice and information on the common ways people fall and how these can be avoided. It also 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.

The toolkit helps doctors to understand the important principles of prescribing for older people and gives guidance on the types of medications which can increase the risk of falls.

A ‘Post Fall Checklist’ also prompts staff to enter a record of the fall in both the medical notes and as a clinical incident using the Datix incident reporting system. Further guidance is provided for those falls associated with head injuries or fractures, helping to ensure that appropriate care and treatment is provided in a timely fashion.

Since it was introduced in November 2010, there has been a 10 per cent reduction in falls associated with significant injury.

Dr Rob Morris, NUH Consultant Geriatrician, said: “The Toolkit has been well-received by Ward Managers and other front line clinical staff. The very practical approach is empowering these staff to plan care, which will have a positive impact on the risk of falling.

“In turn, the changed emphasis is challenging our acceptance of falls as an inevitable consequence of hospitalising older people. We are finding that the number of falls amongst inpatients is beginning to decrease but also that the number of repeated times individual patients are falling is also dropping.” For more information about patient safety visit the NUH website at