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Reducing patient falls and minimising the impact when an incident occurs.

By Conor Symonds, Approach Medical Limited Added 13th Jul, 2020 Updated 2nd Dec, 2020

Maintaining patient safety on a busy ward is a constant challenge. As the pattern of admissions cannot be predicted, work to support patients vulnerable to falls is often undertaken by agency/bank staff to deliver one-to-one patient care. This level of care incurs a high level of spend and Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust were keen to explore technology options that could help reduce their staffing costs, whilst maintaining patient safety. Prior to project initiation, SRFT Emergency Admissions Unit (EAU) was spending up to £18,000 a month (£216,000 per annum) on one-to-one nursing care for patients assessed as a high risk of falls.


The Trust adopted a fall prevention system which used a staff paging system and monitors the patient’s movement to alert staff to the potential of a fall, before the patient is in danger.

In the first six months of the project Trust spend was halved, and by the end of 2015, the use of over one hundred agency staff was eliminated and no reportable incident occurring.

The reduction in the number of patient falls using this technology provides the Trust with an opportunity to save £1 million per annum of agency staffing costs.

With a focus on reducing the costs incurred by trusts on agency staffing, the project has demonstrated huge savings from a minimal outlay, while increasing patient safety and freeing nursing time to focus on patient care.