Number of slips and trips fall significantly at East Lancashire Hospitals

Good nursing care and a new way of thinking are paying off at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT) with the number of patients taking a slip, trip or fall reducing significantly in recent months.


Since ELHT set up a special Falls Collaborative in late 2015, the number of falls on five pilot wards (C5, C10, C14, B20 and B22) has dropped by an impressive 36 per cent – in real terms, 64 fewer falls between November 2015 and May 2016.

Even more impressive is the fact that on the Falls Collaborative pilot wards there was not a single fall resulted in moderate or above patient harm during the entire six month period.

ELHT Divisional Director of Nursing, Jed Walton-Pollard, said: “The issue of patient falls continues to be a key focus at the Trust.

“Armed with the evidence of how we reduced falls on the pilot wards, we can now share this information with all our Wards for the safety and protection of our inpatients.

“Falls remain a cause of harm to patients in hospitals worldwide and can be difficult to eradicate.

“But the excellent work of the Falls Collaborative – and the best practice we have learned during the last few months – will be put into practice on all our wards as we work hard to reduce falls to a minimum.”

Among the initiatives introduced by Falls Collaborative nurses were:

  • a bedside leaf system to identify patients known to be at risk of a fall,
  • patient communication cards about how they can promote their own safety
  • increased bathroom supervision as many patient falls occur when visiting toilet facilities.

Due to the work of the Falls Collaborative and Acute Falls Lead Nurse Helen Howard, patients on all Wards at the Trust’s five hospitals have benefitted from a 19 per cent drop in falls compared to two years earlier, a total of 243 fewer inpatient falls.

In addition, falls which caused moderate or patient harm reduced by 31 per cent across all wards in the same six month period.