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Falls initiative to be extended to more hospital wards

Three women wearing scrubs stood on a hospital ward

A move to turn the tide on the number of patients falling in Morriston Hospital has been such a success it will be rolled out further.

Launched last December, the Baywatch initiative has seen dedicated members of staff monitor patients deemed at high risk of a fall.

Working to an hourly rota, staff are based within a ward bay where patients have been assessed and identified as being at high risk of falling, making it easier to watch them.

Staff support patients by helping them to move around, advising them on appropriate footwear and helping them out of bed safely when they are able to do so.

It will now be adopted on more wards across Morriston and Singleton hospitals.

Pictured: Ward W staff Shanti Gregory, staff nurse Gemma Olds and ward manager Karen Allcock.

Louise Jenvey is interim head of nursing for speciality surgical services and lead for inpatient falls improvement at Morriston Hospital.

She said: “The rollout has been going well and staff engagement has been really positive.

“Some wards had previously carried out trials similar to the principle of Baywatch so we knew it would work well.

“We have had some early feedback that it has been having a positive effect on patients so far and that it has prevented some falls.

“The way staff have engaged with the initiative so far has been phenomenal."

A woman wearing a mask and holding up a poster

Baywatch posters have been put on display at the entrance to the bay on wards where the initiative is in operation.

The dedicated staff can observe the patients deemed at high risk of a fall and are there to help and support them to move safely.

Pictured: Louise Jenvey when Baywatch was launched.

Since December, Baywatch has been launched on trauma and orthopaedic wards at Morriston Hospital, with plans in place to extend it to the remaining surgical and medical wards.

Staff on Ward 12 at Singleton Hospital have also recently taken on the Baywatch role.

“We are hoping Baywatch will be across all areas in Morriston by the end of May,” Louise, added.

“The trauma and orthopaedics wards are already using it, as are the staff in the Welsh Centre for Burns and Plastic Surgery, and Ward 12 at Singleton.

“We will be extending to the cardiac wards and remaining surgical wards in Morriston, and then moving into the medical wards so it will be adopted throughout the whole hospital.

“The staff have been brilliant in taking it on.”

Staff based on the three musculoskeletal wards at Morriston Hospital have adopted the Baywatch role following its launch at the end of last year.

In recent months they have noticed it has reduced the number of patient falls.

“We use it on all three of the musculoskeletal wards which are wards A, B and W,” Claire Williams, matron for musculoskeletal and spinal, said.

“It has been positively received on the wards so far.”

Karen Allcock, Ward W manager, added: “We introduced Baywatch onto our wards relatively quickly after it was launched in December.

“We have always worked to try and reduce the number of falls on our wards but now we can put patients into Baywatch bays so they can be supervised.

“It’s been going well and it’s probably prevented more falls as it makes sure there’s someone there constantly supervising the patients.

“I think we have had fewer falls so far and we are most definitely preventing more falls from happening by doing it.”

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