The first report of the new continuous National Audit of Inpatient Falls (NAIF) provides a detailed look into the care and management of patients who sustain a hip fracture as the result of a fall whilst they are in hospital.
Falls are the most frequently reported incident affecting hospital inpatients, with 247,000 falls occurring in inpatient settings each year in England alone (NHS Improvement). The data collected by NAIF and presented in this report provide ample opportunity to identify areas in which to enhance the quality of care for people who sustain an inpatient hip fracture.
Participation in NAIF is mandatory for all English trusts/Welsh health boards (specialist/community/acute/mental health) with inpatient beds for patients aged 65 and over. If your organisation is eligible to take part but is not yet registered, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
I urge you to use this report to improve what you do to prevent falls and treat injuries when they occur. My hope is that anyone in a similar situation to me can feel confident that their loved one will be safe when they are in hospital.
This report provides an excellent opportunity for organisations to examine in detail where they can improve; not only to prevent falls, but also to improve the care of those who sustain injury and to ensure no delays to expert hip fracture care. 12 evidence-based recommendations are given in each of the following areas:
- Audit participation
- Policies and procedures
- Quality and safety assurance
- Care after an inpatient fall
Not getting things right for this most vulnerable group of patients is a window into how well we manage all patients at risk of falls. If we can get it right for them, then getting it right for all patients at risk of falls will be easier.