Patients at Grantham Hospital who are at risk from falls are benefiting from new equipment following a donation by a group of volunteers.
The hospital’s League of Friends donated £6,500 to pay for nine sets of sensor mats, which can be placed under a patient’s mattress or chair and sets off an alarm when that person is about to get up.
Staff can respond more quickly and possibly prevent injury to the individual – other patients are not disturbed as the mats can be connected to a vibrating pager.
The mats can also be programmed to play a voice message to the patient, to reassure them and encourage them not to move, which is particularly useful for those who may be disorientated or confused.
Jo McCall, senior sister for Ward One at Grantham Hospital, said a 28 per cent reduction in the number of falls had been recorded there in the last 12 months now that staff assess patients who are at risk of falling.
She said: “We’re extremely grateful to the Grantham League of Friends for their generous donations and fantastic fund-raising efforts. We are already seeing a benefit from the new sensor mats in helping us to further reduce the risk of falls at the hospital and have had great feedback from our patients and their relatives.”
The sensor mats are one of a series of measures introduced by United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust to help further reduce the risk of patient falls.
A risk and mobility assessment is completed upon admission and patients at risk of falls are checked to make sure they have safe, non-slip footwear, whether they have visual impairments and their medication is reviewed. Staff also ensure those at risk have their call bell and drinking water within easy reach and that the area around them is free of clutter.
Simon Needham, chairman of the League of Friends at Grantham, said: “We are delighted that our fund-raising efforts and the help of our supporters has enabled us to provide this equipment on all inpatient wards at the hospital.”