Joanne – your Sherwood Forest Hospitals’ falls lead nurse
Falls lead nurse Joanne Lewis-Hodgkinson (left) with the falls grab box
and deputy sister on Woodland ward, Julie Hallsworth
Joanne Lewis-Hodgkinson is the falls lead nurse for Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Her role is to educate, advise and help reduce the risk of people falling and injuring themselves while in our care.
Preventing falls and managing how we respond when someone has fallen are part of everyone’s role in the NHS but Joanne is there to provide support, leadership and advice.
As well as being a role model in clinical areas Joanne and day nurse manager Gerrie Edwards are on hand to drive developments and foster learning and training when and where it is needed.
“For many people, hospitals are an unfamiliar environment and many of our patients are frail and elderly so it requires a constant effort from us all,” said the former ward sister with more than 30 years of experience.
“Across the trust there has been a steady decline in falls resulting in harm – there were 35 in June 2015 and just 14 by May 2016.
“Every time there is a fall we have to understand how and why it happened and look at what could be done to prevent similar incidents in the future.”
Often very simple measures are all that is required, for example:
- Introducing a Falls Grab Box for all wards – stored in the same place on each ward and containing equipment and information to quickly assess and treat falls
- Providing non-slip cushions to prevent patients slipping out of chairs
- Non-slip socks for patients
- Moving nurses’ work stations to where they can see more vulnerable patients – so they can intervene if a patient is trying to get out of bed without help
- Cushioned flooring to prevent harm when a fall does happen
- Increased seating in areas where vulnerable patients are likely to be – making sure seating is closer if they have decided to walk around.
“By studying each incident we can ensure we understand how they happened and preventative measures are taken for the future. This and the dedication and commitment of staff are playing a key role in the downward trend we are seeing,” said Joanne.