GWH best in south west for preventing falls

Posted: January 24, 2018

Patients receive more assessments than anywhere else

Swindon patients needing hospital admission are more likely to receive a special assessment to minimise their risk of falling than anywhere else in the south west.
When a person arrives for a stay in hospital, they can be subject to up to seven different falls assessments, with each one linked to a separate falls risk, such as mobility, blood pressure and medication side effects.
New data from the Royal College of Physicians now shows that the Great Western Hospital offers more of these assessments to more patients than any other regional NHS provider.


Dr Anil Ipe, Consultant Geriatrician, said: "Preventing falls, especially in elderly patients, is a priority shared by every hospital in the country.
"A fall not only causes an immediate injury but is often the catalyst for other issues, which is why having measures in place to stop them from happening at all is so important.
"This new data confirms what I see every day, which is hardworking NHS staff taking the time to ensure that patients' time in hospital is as safe and as comfortable as possible."
The new statistics show that 100 per cent of patients had an assessment when doctors identified an issue with their mobility, while 97 per cent of patients received an assessment when staff believed they would be unable to safely ring the call bell.
Dr Ipe said: "Once an assessment has taken place, staff can identify what practical solutions can be put in place.

Biggest impact  

"Often it's the simplest interventions that have the biggest impact, such as making sure somebody with poor sight has the right spectacles or somebody who has difficulty walking has the correct walking stick or frame."

The data, which takes into account performance from 18 nearby hospitals, also shows that GWH was the only south west hospital in which four of the assessments had been given to more than 90 per cent of patients.
Elsewhere, records show that for each month since the beginning of 2017, more than nine out of ten patients received an assessment within four hours of arrival.  
A newly created falls group - made up of staff from across the organisation - now meets on a regular basis to look at specific incidents and put forward fresh ideas for improvement.
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