Making a difference for patients at UCLH

Falls prevention

We funded a programme of measures to reduce falls and prevent harm at UCLH through evidence based interventions such as anti-slip slippers, environmental changes and encouraging patients to “call not fall” – which is part of a wider campaign to encourage patients to ask for help.

A nurse putting anti-slip socks on to a patient

Home Case studies Falls prevention

What was achieved?

Patients are benefitting from reduced risk of falling. The pilot project is ongoing, and if it proves successful, the anti-slip measures will be integrated across the hospital.

Changing patient outcomes

Falls are the most common incident reported across the NHS and account for a quarter of harm in hospitals.

At UCLH, nearly 130 in-patient falls happen every month causing injuries ranging from broken bones to broken hips and head injury.

Kevin McKenna, quality improvement lead nurse says that harm like the above can result in a significant amount of deterioration for patients. In the worst cases, injuries can completely change the patient outcome and cause a prolonged stay in hospital, and that’s why UCLH Charity has funded a falls prevention plan.

The falls prevention pilot has seen the integration of evidence-based interventions across the top ten wards where the most harm from falls occur at UCLH. This includes simple measures like exchanging a patient’s old, worn slippers for a new, anti-slip pair, and encouraging patients to “call not fall” – which is part of a wider campaign to encourage patients to ask for help.

The pilot project has also seen high-risk wards re-designed specifically to reduce falls. Infra-red, automatic lights were fitted in in the bathrooms, and high visual signage and door colouring has improved visibility in bathrooms. Other anti-trip measures included beds that are lower to floor level and alarm bells that are designed to go off when a high-risk patient gets up without supervision.

Kevin concludes, “These measures demonstrate a strong commitment from UCLH and UCLH Charity to reduce falls and prevent our patients from harm”.

What else?

Kevin McKenna says that staff play a significant role to ensure these measures are implemented. He’ll be approaching local wards to encourage best practice.