P_HS_01 Procedure for the Management of Slips, Trips and Falls

The main objective of the policy is to reduce the number of falls that result in serious injury and to ensure effective treatment and rehabilitation for those who have fallen.

 Slips , trips and falls on level ground consistently account for 1 in 3 major injuries and 1 in 5 over 3 day injuries in work place areas throughout Great Britain, a total of at least 35000 injuries per annum (one slip, trip accident every 3 minutes). The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) state that the majority of these are slips. Pedestrian slip risk factors are described by the HSE as:

  • Floor
  • Contamination
  • Footwear
  • Pedestrian factors
  • Cleaning
  • Environment

Patient slips, trips and falls account for a high proportion of service user/patient accidents in the Organisation.

In 2005, 54% of all reported major accidents in the health services were caused by a slip or a trip. That compares with a national average of 34%. The human cost is usually easy to see, however the price paid by the NHS as an organisation or an employer is not always so apparent. Treatment costs stand at £133m per year with 90% of major accidents resulting in a broken bone.

This procedure has been written with due consideration to Health and Safety Legislation, the requirements of the NHS Litigation Authority, National Patient Safety Agency and the Human Rights Act of 1998.

Slips, trips and falls have implications for LCHS as an organisation and also for the individual at risk. For the individuals there is a risk of serious harm or injury and within the older adult client group complications following fractures have a high mortality rate. For LCHS there are cost implications related to an extended stay in hospital following the fall and the follow up care required in the community setting.

This procedure addresses the risk to patients and staff; it should be read in conjunction with the Health and Safety Policy which addresses the overall risk to staff, patients and visitors.

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