Falls Prevention

Watch the film "Falls Prevention | Education for patients, relatives, friends" now on our Youtube channel!

Film helps patients to help themselves

Hospital patients in Colchester who have fallen or who are at risk of falling are being shown a special film made by a multidisciplinary team of staff.

The aim of the film, which is just under 13 minutes long, is to help patients recover from a fall and to minimise the risk of future falls.

It includes advice given by a physiotherapist, doctor, falls prevention practitioner, dietitian, pharmacist and occupational therapist.

The idea for a falls prevention education project came from physiotherapist Rebecca Impson, with support from Tracey Williams-Macklin, Head of Occupational Therapy, Dr Teshk Shawis, consultant geriatrician, and Jo Field, falls prevention practitioner.

Their suggestion won a Dragons’ Den style innovation competition organised by Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, the trust that runs Colchester General Hospital.

Ms Impson, who features in the film, said: “Although falls are common among elderly people, they are not an inevitable consequence of age and are preventable.

“The film has been made to share the expertise of our multidisciplinary team with patients, their relatives and friends, to aid recovery and prevent further falls among people who attend hospital because of falls or who are at risk of falls.

“It’s is currently being piloted on D’Arcy Ward, which is one of our care of the elderly wards, but the plan is to roll it out, including to our frailty unit and other wards across the hospital.”

Patients who watch the video on tablet computers by their bedsides have been asked to fill in an evaluation form.

So far, the feedback has been positive with patients reporting that the film has given them a greater understanding of what they can do to minimise the risk of falls and has made them feel more confident that they will be able to manage when they return home.

Patients are also encouraged to watch the film with a relative or carer and can also access it online after they have left hospital.

In addition, they are given an information booklet called Falls support and education for patients, relatives and friends which they take home with them.

Ms Impson thanked pharmacist Man Yui Hung and dietitian Tara Ommar who also contributed to the film project but who have now left the Trust and also the organisation’s Research and Innovation Department.

The runner-up in the Dragons’ Den style competition was Mr Subash Vasudevan, a consultant colorectal surgeon, whose suggestion for an anorectal physiology laboratory to carry out tests on patients with Pelvic Floor Disorders (PFD) came to fruition in July.

A Falls Prevention leaflet has been produced to explain the support and education for patients, relatives and friends that is available.