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Trust's safety plan proving successful, figures reveal

Nurses have helped reduce patient falls by 30% per week through a safety plan initiative

Nurses have helped reduce patient falls by 30% per week through a safety plan initiative.

The scheme was introduced at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust in January last year.

Clinical staff complete ten safety checks, also known as 'always events', when assessing a patient within 24 hours of admission.

The checks include assessing the patient's vitals signs, pain relief, mental capacity and venous thromboembolism (VTE) risk.

Statistics show drop

New statistics from the trust covering June to November last year, show that the number of falls which have resulted in an injury decreased by 30% a week as a result of the safety plan.

Figures also show that 99% of patients are receiving all ten checks within 24 hours following admission.

A system is in place to ensure that any of those missed

Nurses have helped reduce patient falls by 30% per week through a safety plan initiative.


Picture: Chris Balcombe

The scheme was introduced at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust in January last year.

Clinical staff complete ten safety checks, also known as 'always events', when assessing a patient within 24 hours of admission.

The checks include assessing the patient's vitals signs, pain relief, mental capacity and venous thromboembolism (VTE) risk. 

Statistics show drop

New statistics from the trust covering June to November last year, show that the number of falls which have resulted in an injury decreased by 30% a week as a result of the safety plan.

Figures also show that 99% of patients are receiving all ten checks within 24 hours following admission. 

A system is in place to ensure that any of those missed are then completed within 48 hours.

Potentially dangerous conditions, such as VTE are being picked up and treated in a timely manner, according to the trust. 

All clinicians are involved in the safety plan, ensuring that doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants, therapists and others meet regularly throughout the day to make sure the checks are not missed.

Once the checklist is completed it is displayed above the patient’s bed, as a visible sign to reassure patients and their relatives that it has been completed.

The trust’s chief nurse, Elaine Newell said: ‘This is all about our patients. It is a plan to put their safety first, and we know that by doing this consistently we will improve the safe care we provide.

'Cannot afford to be complacent'

‘We knew that good practice was routine across some wards, and we wanted to embed that across all areas of the trust. Every patient deserves the same consistent safe care and that is the primary objective driving this project.

She added: ‘It is so important that we get it right and that every patient knows why we are doing the checks. Every single fall averted, or pressure ulcer that does not develop is a win and we cannot afford to be complacent.

‘Our nurses have embraced the safety plan and are all keen to make sure they complete the checklist.’

Matron Amanda Green said the safety plan has enabled an improved handover process with staff having much more information about patients than they would have had previously.

She added: 'Overall the patient experience has been greatly improved. Care plans have improved as a result of the assessments being carried out in advance and we are able to escalate issues much more quickly.'

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