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UHMBT promotes awareness of falls prevention for national Falls Awareness Week

17 September 2021

  • Quality and safety
  • Furness General Hospital
  • Royal Lancaster Infirmary
  • Westmorland General Hospital
  • Millom Hospital
  • Queen Victoria Hospital
  • Ulverston Health Centre
  • Community services
  • Bay Health and Care Partners

Andrew Thompson Matron UHMBT  Falls Awareness Week 2.jpegClinicians across University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) are sharing information and advice about falls prevention during Falls Awareness Week 2021.

Falls Awareness Week is an annual event designed to help prevent older and frail people suffering from falls.

UHMBT does a huge amount of work to prevent falls as the safety of patient care is a key priority for the Trust.

Figures from NHS England show that around one in three adults over the age of 65 and half of people over the age of 80 will have at least one fall a year. Falls can often result in fractures, head injuries and lead to serious problems such as loss of mobility, loss of independence and even death.

At UHMBT falls awareness is of paramount awareness as falls and fractures in older people are often preventable.

Laura Neal, Falls Lead, Associate Chief Nurse and Magnet4Europe Programme Lead at UHMBT, said: “It is crucial that everyone in the Trust and in the community is aware of the dangers of falls so that we can help to prevent injuries and debilitating conditions.

“Anyone can have a fall, but older people can be more vulnerable and likely to fall, particularly if they have a long-term health condition. Reducing falls and fractures is important for maintaining the health, wellbeing and independence of our older and frail patients.

Falls Awareness Week colleague with poster 4.jpeg“During Falls Awareness Week we are highlighting the many dangers of falls and how they can be prevented. This work will continue beyond the awareness week because we want to keep our patients safe and well at all times. We also want our patients to be able to return home, to have a good quality of life and to have as much independence as possible.”

As part of Falls Awareness Week, a Physiotherapy Falls Awareness Promotion Session will take place on Wednesday 22 September on Ward 6 at Furness General Hospital in Barrow organised by Louise Ball, an Advanced Physiotherapist for UHMBT.

The event will include aspects of falls-specific assessments using outcome measures, a patient survey and walking aid checks. Patients and staff are welcome to take part if they are able to. There will be a session from 10am to noon and another session from 1.30pm to 3pm.

Emily Gurung, a Senior Physiotherapist for UHMBT, will lead the session. Rachel Watts can also be contacted for information on the session.

Falls Awareness Week pic 1.jpegTo tackle the issue of falls, UHMBT has recently set up an in-house ‘Falls Fellowship’ which colleagues can join to gain insight, exposure and high-quality skills development in evidence-based practice.

Laura said: “Our Falls Fellows are gaining a strong understanding of falls prevention, falls management and how best to drive clinical practice developments.

“There will also be positive patient and public engagement as well as recognition and reward for all taking part.”

The Falls Fellowship is aligned to the Trust’s Priority Areas of work for 2021/22 which are the wellbeing of staff, quality and safety and financial improvement.

As part of its falls prevention work, UHMBT is backing the national #EndPJparalysis campaign to value patients’ time and help more people to live the richest, fullest lives possible by reducing immobility, muscle deconditioning and dependency as well as protecting cognitive function, social interaction and dignity.

Falls Awareness Week colleague with poster 5.jpegOne of the major impacts of the #EndPJparalysis campaign has been the focus on both the individual and the organisational impact of ‘staying in bed’.

To watch a video about joining the #EndPJparalysis movement, please click here:

Throughout Falls Awareness Week posters will be up around Trust sites to illustrate the many ways in which falls can be prevented.

The Trust will also be sharing information on its social media accounts with the hashtags: #FallsAwarenessWeek #ThinkFalls