Scheme trialled at South Tyneside Hospital to be used across the country

Dr Suba Thirugnanasothy, left, and falls specialist nurse Catherine Peel, centre, receiving the Certificate of Achievement from Zoe Packman.
Dr Suba Thirugnanasothy, left, and falls specialist nurse Catherine Peel, centre, receiving the Certificate of Achievement from Zoe Packman.

A new scheme to help reduce in-patient falls at South Tyneside District Hospital is set to be rolled out across the country.

South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust was one of only 19 selected to take part in NHS Improvement’s Falls Collaborative and staff developed the ‘falls risk assessment and individualised care plan’ which resulted in patients aged 65 and over being assessed for their risk of falling within 48 hours of admission.

It’s a testament to the energy, enthusiasm and commitment shown by the team at South Tyneside

Alison Smith

South Tyneside Hospital saw a dramatic 53% reduction in the number of falls leading to patient harm in the first six months of this year compared to the same period last year.

Now, the pioneering work has been voted as the best idea for other trusts to follow, with fellow participants in the Falls Collaborative planning to adopt the model.

Consultant Geriatrician, Dr Suba Thirugnanasothy, said: “At the final Falls Collaborative event, every participating trust was able to showcase their work over the last year.

“We were delighted when our new falls risk assessment and care plan was voted as the best idea that other trusts wanted to adopt.”

Alison Smith, Senior Clinical Lead for NHS Improvement in Cumbria and the North East, and regional lead for the Falls Collaborative, said: “It’s a testament to the energy, enthusiasm and commitment shown by the team at South Tyneside that their work was chosen as the project organisations most wanted to implement themselves.

“Their efforts are already bearing fruit locally.”