FACED with a rise in falls, the team at Leominster Community Hospital (LCH) kept their feet on the ground.

A solution as simple as comfy slippers could set an example for Wye Valley NHS Trust (WVT) to follow.

Patient falls were on up across the Trust over December, though figures for the previous three months show the rate as relatively low when compared to the same period for the past two years.

LCH saw the most marked increase with some falls resulting in fractures.

The findings of an investigation into the rise were recently put to the Trust’s Quality Committee.

Members were told comfy slippers were a solution with funds from the LCH League of Friends   used to buy pairs if patients didn’t have a pair of their own.

The investigation found nothing to link the increase in falls to staffing levels at LCH.

Michelle Clarke, WVT Director of Nursing and Quality, said the Trust was now putting an emphasis on “educating” patients about wearing suitable footwear in hospital and encouraging patients to bring their own “suitable” slippers for their stay.

The LCH slipper solution is among a range of falls prevention measures being adopted at LCH that could soon be rolled out across the Trust.

These include extra checks on patients, and visual aids at bedsides, to identify fall risks, and purchasing - through charity funds - pressure monitors with alarms that go off when an “at risk” patient moves.

“While not every patient fall is preventable, our falls prevention programme addresses the issues that assist with reducing the risk of patient falls, and we have seen a significant reduction in the number of patients falls across the Trust over the last couple of years,” said Michelle.

All service units across WVT are provided with information in relation to the number of patient falls within their areas in their monthly reports. In turn, any increases are reported to service unit governance and performance meetings