Falls Prevention

A fall may be defined as “an untoward event” which results in a patient coming to rest on the ground or other surface.

Everyone can be at risk of having a fall, but older adults are more vulnerable than others. This is mainly due to long term health conditions that can increase the chances of having a fall.

St Mary's Hospital take falls seriously and use the recommendations from the National Service Framework for Older People (Standard 6, Falls Prevention) and NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) guidelines for Falls, in managing the prevention and after care of patient falls. The guidance recommends hospitals to ensure all patients are assessed upon admission for falls history, a medication review to be carried out toegther with cognitive screening. In the event of a fall patients will receive the effective treatment and rehabilitation and advice on prevention of further falls.

Cognitive screening is carried out on all patients 75 years and over to identify if there are memory problems significant enough to affect someone’s lifestyle.  It is acknowledged patients with cognitive impairment such as Dementia are at high risk of falling.

All incidence of falls are reported and discussed at Trust Board level. For those falls resulting in serious harm an investigation is carried out to influence change in practice.

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