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January 20, 2023

Yellow socks and blankets rolled out in A&E to help patients at risk of falling

Patients who are identified as being at high risk of falls will be given bright yellow wristbands, non-slip socks and blankets when they are admitted to A&E at Royal Bolton Hospital.

The innovative ‘Think Yellow’ scheme has been set up as a trial in the Emergency Department as a tool to reduce falls amongst vulnerable patients in hospital.

The bright yellow colour, recognised internationally as a fall risk factor, aims to make it easier for staff to identify the most at-risk patients and offer support and assistance if they are trying to stand or move.

More than 700 yellow items have been supplied to staff in the Emergency Department ready to hand out to those who need them.

Tony MacKay, Falls Coordinator at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, said:

Most falls occur in the first few hours of admission because it’s a new and busy environment, so by creating a visual cue we can collectively make an impact by being more aware of those who need an extra bit of support from us.

Falls can have a devastating impact on the patient, their family and our staff too.

We want to make sure patients receive the best level of care when they visit us, so we are always looking for ways to enhance safety and protect our vulnerable patients by intervening before a fall occurs.

“To raise awareness we’ll be educating staff about the importance and meaning of Think Yellow, and if it’s successful we hope to roll it out other wards.

Think Yellow has been introduced at a number of NHS sites across England, with evidence suggesting the initiative significantly reduces the number of falls.

Tony added:

When a fall happens in hospital it can typically increase a patient’s stay by a few days, so we hope this initiative will help our patients return to the comfort of their home sooner whilst also easing demand on some of our hospital services.

Bolton NHS Foundation Trust is running a programme of work on in-patient falls prevention and management, with a range of initiatives being introduced from Monday 23 January 2023.

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