Search

Experts reduce falls in Goodmayes hospital through simulation training

PUBLISHED: 12:44 15 September 2016 | UPDATED: 12:50 15 September 2016

Dr Kawa Amin, geriatric consultant physician, and Debbie Watkins, senior physiotherapist, co-ordinators of BHRUT's falls unit.

Dr Kawa Amin, geriatric consultant physician, and Debbie Watkins, senior physiotherapist, co-ordinators of BHRUT's falls unit.

Claire Still (BHRUT)

For many elderly people, having a fall is a nightmare that could see them lose their independence.

For many elderly people, having a fall is a nightmare that could see them lose their independence.

Fortunately, Barking Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) has appointed senior physiotherapist Debbie Watkins and consultant geriatrician Dr Kawa Amin in a bid to combat the problem.

The pair successfully cut falls at both King George Hospital in Goodmayes and Queen’s Hospital in Romford by 22 per cent in 2014 and have managed a further 18pc reduction this year.

Key to their success has been the use of a simulation training facility at the Barley Lane hospital, which sees nurses and doctors from both sites go through possible real-life fall scenarios to learn how they can improve their performance.

Debbie said: “Of course I’m proud that falls are reducing, but it’s more that I’m happy with how everyone has really bought into what we’re trying to do.

“I would never say it was just us responsible for the results we’ve had, all our nurses and consultants have helped make sure we’ve gotten better.”

Dr Amin was similarly happy with the work the falls unit had done since its creation in 2014.

He said: “I don’t think there is anyone else in the country, or maybe even the world, doing the type of simulation training we’re doing with our nurses in terms of dealing with patient falls.

“It’s innovative, and of course we’re happy with it, as are the trust executives I think, who have given us a lot of support.”

Patients particularly at risk at both the trust’s hospitals all have adhesive checklists attached to their medical notes to make sure all the correct procedures are followed.

Another key innovation has been the use of brightly coloured socks, which cost the trust just 79p a pair, to give patients extra grip on the floors.

“Another thing we’ve got to deal with is the psychological effect falls can have on the elderly,” said Debbie.

“When you fall at a younger age you know you can get back up again, but as you get older you begin to fear falling more, and that in turn can affect the way you live your life.

“Fear of falling is one of the things everyone wants to target and it’s definitely something we’re working on.”

Sokhi-An Heath-Caballero, one of the nurses to go through the fall simulation training at King George Hospital, told the Recorder she loved it.

“I would recommend it to any member of staff at the hospital, because it was so interesting!” she said.

“It was honestly the best training day I’ve had here, we all really enjoyed it and as soon as we all came back onto our wards we started using what we’d learnt and we put that into practice every day.”


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ilford Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Ilford Recorder