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Drop in number of falls pleases hospital chiefs
6:10pm Tuesday 13th August 2013 in News
EFFORTS to reduce the number of falls suffered by patients are having an impact, hospital chiefs have claimed.
Stopping patients from falling and hurting themselves is one of the top priorities for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.
The trust, which runs Worcestershire Royal, Redditch Alexandra and Kidderminster hospitals, has set itself a stretching target of achieving a five per cent reduction in adult inpatient falls during the first six months of the current financial year.
Although it is currently behind schedule in this ambition, there are clear signs of improvement and if the trend of the last two months continues the trust could yet find itself achieving its target.
Last year the trust recorded a rate of 58.56 falls per 10,000 bed days. A five per cent reduction means it needs to reduce this to 55.64.
After the first three months of 2013/14 it is currently running at 57.64 falls per 10,000 bed days. Although the improvement is not what the trust hoped to achieve, figures show the number of falls is steadily decreasing.
There were 156 recorded during April, 132 in May and just 123 in June, despite each month having a broadly similar number of bed days, about 24,000.
During May and June only two of the falls recorded have resulted in “serious harm” to the patient. Last year a total of 35 falls resulted in serious harm.
Helen Blanchard, the acute trust’s outgoing director of nursing, told board members she was encouraged by the progress being made.
“We are making good progress on falls prevention and the last two months we have seen a reduction in both patients falling and also those experiencing serious harm,” she said.
Harry Turner, the acute trust’s chairman, believes the figures are a good indicator of the improvements the organisation continues to make.
“Where we are today is a completely different place to a few years ago,” he said.
“We have less falls, less infections and less pressure ulcers. I am not saying it is perfect but we are in a great place.”
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