FallSafe: Inpatient falls prevention using a care bundle introduced by ward-based nurses
The FallSafe project sought to implement evidence-based multifactorial falls prevention, delivered as care bundles, across 17 wards in a variety of hospital settings across the South Central region of England.
The bundle consisted of nine process measures such as:
- ensuring that patients have the right walking aids available, and that they can reach them
- ensuring patients are wearing the appropriate footwear
- ensuring patients have their glasses with them
- ensuring patients are aware of where the bathroom is
- checking that patients are not taking medication that will make them more liable to fall, such as sleeping tablets
- asking patients about fear of falling
- checking patients' lying/standing blood pressure
- carrying out a medication review
- taking into account night-time sedation.
The care bundle approach to preventing falls was found to be highly effective at delivering improvements in processes of care that are important not only for falls prevention but for patients’ wellbeing and health in general.
There were marked improvements in some interventions with more than twice as many patients receiving assessments to identify causes of falls related to cardiovascular problems, medication or urinary tract infection.
The project also demonstrated that the care bundles were feasible and acceptable across a wide range of inpatient settings eg mental health units as well as acute units.