Risks, roles and responsibilities : Evaluating falls in inpatient mental healthcare settings for older people
Simpson, C. M.
Introduction: There is an urgent need to improve the care of older people at risk of or who experience falls in mental health settings. A report by the National Patient Safety Agency found that in 16 mental health services, falls formed almost a quarter of all patient safety incidents, 85% of these were in inpatient areas with rates ranging from 13 to 25 falls per 1000 bed days. This study, funded by NIHR Research for Patient Benefit will: • evaluate how fall prevention and management are understood and experienced, in inpatient mental health settings providing care for older people. • analyse current local and national falls policy and guidelines specific to mental health settings. • develop local policy, practice guidelines and patient and carer information. Methodology: The study is composed of three phases. Phase 1: Exploratory case study. To evaluate how the risks, roles, responsibilities, guidelines and policy for fall prevention are understood and enacted across the Trust at a number of levels from the patient, carer and staff interfaces to managerial and strategic levels. Phase 2: In-depth study of 2 in-patient clinical settings to enable a more detailed explanatory analysis of the experience of older people as they experience falls. Phase 3: A series of working groups with staff and patient/carer groups, using this data, will lead to a one day stakeholder consensus event to develop relevant guidelines and policy. Results: This poster will outline the protocol for the study. Conclusions: The study will enable us to evaluate how fall prevention and management are understood and experienced in inpatient mental health settings for older people and to develop local policy and practice guidelines which is fit for purpose and relevant to mental health settings.