Preventing falls

Falls are the most common cause of injury in hospital and can delay your recovery. Falling over is more likely in hospital because you're in an unfamiliar environment and may be physically weaker than usual.

It's important that you, your family and staff all work together to reduce the risk of falls by:

  • making sure you can reach the call bell beside your bed
  • using the call bell to ask for help whenever you need it
  • calling for help as soon as you can. We will try to answer it immediately but if the ward is busy, it may take a few minutes before a nurse can get to you
  • wearing supportive, flat, non-slip shoes or slippers
  • bringing your walking frame or stick, glasses or hearing aids to hospital and keeping them close to you
  • turning the light on so you can see before getting out of bed
  • walking and staying active when family, friends and staff are there to help you
  • listening to the advice and recommendations of staff – recovering from illness or surgery takes time, and you might need more help with walking and getting to the bathroom than you realise.

How family and friends can help to prevent falls

If a patient is confused, family members and visitors can help by staying with them as much as possible and letting staff know how to reduce their confusion, if possible. It is also a good idea to let a staff member know when you leave so that they can check on the patient regularly.

Related links

We reduce the risks of a hospital stay with hand hygiene, preventing falls and blood clots, and medication safety. Read about keeping you safe in hospital.

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