Published on 25 November 2021
A safety initiative designed by East Kent Hospitals staff to help identify patients at risk of falls has gone global.
The Trust’s falls prevention team developed the yellow falls kit – yellow non-slip socks and a small yellow blanket – to give staff a visual cue and raise awareness of people at risk of falls.
And after associate practitioner Jayne Flood tweeted about the pilot scheme in the emergency department at the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, she was inundated with requests from as far afield as Australia and South America.
Jayne said: “It is such a simple idea and it really works – our pilot showed it halved the amount of falls in the emergency department, and those who did fall did not have the kit.
“But I was still surprised when it seemed to go viral, almost overnight.
“My phone was pinging all the time with people asking how they could get hold of the kits, or for information about how we had introduced it and what the results were.”
Jayne ended up leading a webinar for almost 100 people, including colleagues from Chile, Western Australia, and Pakistan. The session was recorded and has since been sent even further afield.
She said: “It’s been amazing. We’ve had great support from the company who make the socks and blankets, who helped organise the webinar and then sent the recording to everyone on their distribution list.
“It’s exciting to think that something we started is now in hospitals around the world.
“My background is on the emergency floor so I knew things like signs didn’t always work as patients move about a lot to go to x-ray or for scans.
“The beauty of the yellow falls kit is that it can go with them and everyone who encounters that patient will be aware that extra precautions should be taken.”
The scheme is also being expanded locally, to include the emergency department and AMU at the William Harvey Hospital.
The kit stays with patients if they are admitted, and acts as a reminder for staff to complete a falls risk assessment and care plan and ensure other measures are in place, such as the ward FallStop sign.