TV show Baywatch inspires falls prevention at Southampton General

Staff take on ‘bay watcher’ brief in pilot on older people’s wards.

Nurses at Southampton General Hospital are using the US TV lifeguard drama Baywatch as an unlikely inspiration for reducing falls.

Bay Watch, as the pilot project has been named, includes a six-point checklist created by the patient safety team at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (UHS). Two falls were recorded in the first month of the pilot.

UHS director of nursing Gail Byrne said: ‘This is precisely the type of innovative idea we want to see more of – something that engages staff, patients and visitors.’

Designated role

The nurse-in-charge designates a nursing bay as a ‘bay watch’ zone and chooses a nurse to be ‘bay watcher’. The bay watcher should ensure maximum observation, assess whether it is safe to provide care behind curtains and be identifiable by wearing a special lanyard.

The checklist is printed in red and yellow, the colours worn by Pamela Anderson and David Hasselhoff in the long-running TV series.

Two older people’s wards are running the pilot.

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