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9.1.1 Falls

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

The Importance of Preventing Falls

Falls are a major cause of injury and loss of independence for older people and service users with a disability that affects their mobility. Falls can be caused by a number of ‘risk factors’ including reduced mobility, visual impairment and certain types of medication.

Research has shown that falls can be prevented through ‘multifactorial’ assessment and intervention, which targets the different risk factors that may be responsible for that person’s falls. This can have a significant impact on reducing a person’s risk of injury, and increase their confidence and independence.

Whilst it is important to make every effort to minimise falls, we need to recognise that some people, who are able to understand the risk factors, may not wish to accept our recommendations or interventions. In these situations, we need to respect that it is their choice to take risks, and that they have the right to make their own decisions. However, it is important that as part of our risk assessment it is clearly evidenced that our recommendations to reduce the risks were offered and declined. Due regard needs to be given to the Mental Capacity Act 2005. In situations, where someone is assessed as not have capacity to understand the risks, or to make the decision to accept those risks, a best interests decision process should be followed.

AMENDMENT

This chapter was amended throughout in December 2014 as a result of local review and Section 5, Care Home Monthly Overview Form is also new. It should be re-read in its entirety.


Contents

  1. Policy
  2. The Falls Prevention Service
  3. Procedures in the Event of a Fall
  4. Incident Reporting
  5. Care Home Monthly Overview Form

    Appendix A: Individual Falls Risk Assessment

    Appendix B: Environmental Audit Tool for Falls

    Appendix C: Risk of Falls Individual Care Plan

    Appendix D: Monthly Falls Overview Form


1. Policy

This procedure has been developed to establish a consistent approach within our services in response to the risk of falls. The main purpose is to minimise falls and subsequent injury resulting in possible hospital admission. This policy applies to long-term service users, those staying in our resource centres for short-term care, as well as service users in day services.

Appendix A

  • The Individual Falls Risk Assessment tool is used to assess what level of risk an individual is of falls;
  • Where it is identified on the tool that a service user is a low risk, please ensure that this is recorded in the person’s Support Plan and on the generic risk assessment checklist;
  • Where it is identified on the tool that a service user is a medium or high risk, a risk assessment must be completed using the information gathered;
  • When a medium or high risk has been identified an environmental audit (Appendix B: Environmental Audit Tool for Falls) and an individual care plan (Appendix C: Risk of Falls Individual Care Plan) are to be completed. Any other interventions must also be recorded on the risk assessment.

Appendix B

See Appendix B: Environmental Audit Tool for Falls.

  • Must be completed to assess for environmental hazards;
  • All areas used by Service Users must be assessed for potential slip or trip hazards;
  • Appropriate changes to the environment should be made as far as practicably possible;
  • A safe environment should be maintained at all times and ensure that all main routes to toilets, day rooms etc. are not blocked.

Appendix C

See Appendix C: Risk of Falls Individual Care Plan.

  • Appendix C is an individual audit tool that is used to address different risk factors that may be responsible for that person’s fall(s);
  • The Support  Plan must contain relevant information as to the actions that will help reduce the person’s risk of falling;


2. The Falls Prevention Service

Despite our intervention, if we are continuing to have difficulties in managing falls for an individual we need to consider the above team at an early stage. The falls prevention service carry out holistic assessments to identify the problems that a service user is experiencing and work out how to help reduce the risk of falling. They can then arrange intervention according to the person’s individual needs. This might include:

  • One to one physiotherapy or occupational therapy;
  • Strength and balance exercises;
  • Nutritional advice;
  • Osteoporosis screening;
  • Referrals to other services.

More information about the Falls Prevention Service can be found in their booklet and a copy is attached to this policy for reference.


3. Procedures in the Event of a Fall

Click here to view A resident has Fallen or been found on the Floor


4. Incident Reporting

An Incident form (HS2) must be completed after every fall and recorded in the service users diary sheets and passed to the manager on duty.

All documents should be reviewed to ensure all possible interventions have been considered.

If three incidents reports have been completed relating to falls for the same service user then initiate a review of the risk assessment. Explore any interventions and consider a referral to the falls prevention service.


5. Care Home Monthly Overview Form

All falls must be recorded on Appendix D: Monthly Falls Overview Form the purpose is to have a clear overview of all falls and to identify any common risks and patterns in order for appropriate action to be taken to minimise the risk of falls.


Appendices

Appendix A: Individual Falls Risk Assessment

Appendix B: Environmental Audit Tool for Falls

Appendix C: Risk of Falls Individual Care Plan

Appendix D: Monthly Falls Overview Form

End