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'Let Them Fall' policy

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'Let Them Fall' policy

Post by kngc »

Right, here is the conundrum:
Resident in a health care setting falls and the member of staff lets them, as they believe that this is the correct thing to do.

I have an opinion on this but wanted to see what your organisation feels (if applicable) or your professional opinion is on this subject ...... and I have seen a lot of arguments elsewhere for and against.

Also, do you have a copy of the wording from the 'Guide to Handling Of Patients' 6th edition or later outlining their response to this?


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Re: 'Let Them Fall' policy

Post by Messy »

How do you mean, "let's them'?

Does this mean the fall could have been prevented by staff intervention, but the policy is to let the older person tumble? I must have this wrong- haven't I?

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Re: 'Let Them Fall' policy

Post by Waterbaby »

Good Afternoon kngc

Now there is a dramatic headline and not quite true ;) , all about context as always.

The manual-handling implications to staff of 'catching' a falling person are legion ( you can find on any internet search )

If the patient is falling 'right now in front of you' no time to TILE ( Task, Individual, Load, and Environment), so people (staff) rush in and get injured in their attempts to help.

So, manual handling training teaches this technique ( NB : Not all Trust policies / health facilities approve this )

https://opentextbc.ca/clinicalskills/ch ... revention/ : see "Lowering a Patient to the Floor" with photos to illustrate.

Please see here another technique per policy " Techniques for the Manual Handling of Patients" in 2017 https://uhmb.nhs.uk/files/1615/1067/213 ... s_V2.1.pdf (p.14 of 41)

Risk assessment of patients, at risk of fall , are part of the patients care - plan : https://cks.nice.org.uk/falls-risk-assessment#!scenario

See here re : NICE guidelines requiring updating following their review of evidence :
https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg161/ ... 2148103909

Some further info :

"Falls Report" : https://improvement.nhs.uk/documents/14 ... 017.v2.pdf
"The incidence and costs of inpatient falls in hospitals" : https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/projects/ou ... ical-audit
"Falls: applying All Our Health : Updated 31 January 2020" - https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... our-health

My suggestion in this instance, arrange a meeting with your current manual - handling training provider and determine the techniques currently taught to healthcare staff for that health facility.

It might also be worth getting on the course before that meeting ./thumbsup.. .

It's not so simple as ' Let them fall"

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Re: 'Let Them Fall' policy

Post by Alexis »

Messy wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:31 pm
How do you mean, "let's them'?

Does this mean the fall could have been prevented by staff intervention, but the policy is to let the older person tumble? I must have this wrong- haven't I?
Waterbaby has provided the perfect reply.

A real life scenario...... Elderly person needs assistance to go to toilet. In the "care plan" it is stated that 2 members of staff should assist the elderly person to go to the toilet.

During the night, elderly person requests being taken to toilet. One staff member arrives, tells the elderly person with zimmer to stand and go to toilet within a few yards away. Elderly, almost blind, cannot hear as hearing aids removed, aged 95, repeatedly tells staff member they are going to fall, but staff member contradicts and tells them they are not going to fall. Result is that elderly person falls very badly.

What should have happened was the first staff member should have requested the elderly person to stay seated until they summoned another member of staff as per the care plan procedure.

If, however the elderly person stood up, the staff member should have calmly helped sit the elderly person down to prevent a fall.

Instead, the staff member let the elderly person stand up, told the elderly person to go to the toilet, the elderly person then, when falling, should have been provided with A CONTROLLED fall procedure whereby the staff member should have assisted the fall by helping to direct the falling person on to the staff members outstretched leg, which would be as sliding down on to the floor, thus no damage to bones or head injuries until second member of staff arrived. Upon arrival of second member of staff, an assessment of the elderly persons wellbeing, as per procedure, should take place before even attempting to remove the elderly person from the floor.

This is a true scenario that ended up prompting a hearing and major penalty for both staff members involved. It happened to my Mum!!
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