In 2010 Hospice UK produced the first falls toolkit, developed by members for members. It offered hospices the means to manage and prevent falls in their inpatient units in an individualised, multidisciplinary and person centred way.
Since that time, significant developments in professional practice have occurred, including the 2013 NICE guidelines and ‘Implementing FallSafe: Care bundles to reduce inpatient falls’ from the Royal College of Physicians in 2012.
In 2015 a subgroup of the National Quality Advisory Group of Hospice UK set about reviewing the falls toolkit.
This group consisted of Simon Fisher (an academic), Sue Bridger (quality improvement lead at Farleigh Hospice and an occupational therapist by background), Becky McGregor (head of clinical quality and patient experience at Earl Mountbatten Hospice and physiotherapist by background), Marie Cooper (practice development lead, Hospice UK) and Julie Windsor (patient safety lead, older people and falls, for NHS England and a nurse by background).
The aims of refreshing the toolkit were to ensure it is:
- up-to-date and consistent with national and international guidelines and standards
- person centred and supporting the people that hospices care for, and their family and carers, in a way that promotes choice, independence and enablement
- relevant in all environments of hospice care (home, care home and ward settings)
- user friendly – that is, enabling professionals to gain knowledge for practice and training or continuing professional development, and easily accessible and comprehensible for reference in everyday practice.
The toolkit is designed as a template to be adapted and used to support individual hospice practice. In addition to the PDF version of the complete toolkit, there are Word document versions of the ‘Falls prevention and management care plan’ and ‘Clinical incident report’ templates, which can be found on the Hospice UK website.
Julie Windsor commented: “NHS Improvement is delighted that Hospice UK have updated their 2010 resources. This revised toolkit includes a contemporary evidence review and links to relevant national guidance to support the implementation of best practice to reduce harm from falls.
“This comprehensive toolkit adapts evidence based falls prevention guidance to the particular challenges and needs of people receiving hospice care. The quality of this resource reflects the dedication and commitment of the authors to assist you to do what you do best: proactive, sensitive and individualised care.”