A new ‘silver slipper’ campaign is being launched to help prevent falls in hospital. In the run-up to the festive season, South Tees Hospitals Charity is asking people to consider donating the price of a pair of slippers which, in turn, will be used to buy appropriate, safe, footwear for vulnerable patients arriving in hospital slipper-less!
The simple appeal arose from a conversation between the charity’s fundraising manager, Paul Watkins, and the trust’s acting director of nursing and patient safety, Anne Sutcliffe, about how the charity could help patients and build on the great work of volunteers on the elderly care wards.
“I expected Anne’s response to be a state-of-the-art piece of kit but her request was far simpler; she said there was a very real need to provide slippers for patients – potentially at risk from a fall – who arrive in hospital without a pair,” he said.
“While this will be an on-going campaign throughout the year we thought the run-up to Christmas was an ideal time to launch it but not wanting to sound like an ungrateful relative, we’re asking people for donations rather than sending in slippers so we can buy exactly what patients need.
“We guarantee the slippers we provide will not be placed in the back of a wardrobe on Boxing Day!”
Fall-related injuries in hospitals and community settings can be some of the most common, disabling and expensive health conditions, especially in older adults.
2,075 fall incidents reported in The James Cook University Hospital and the Friarage Hospital in the financial year of 2011/2012.Across England and Wales, approximately 152,000 falls are reported in acute hospitals and 28,000 from community hospitals every year. While the numbers reported by the trust are reducing there were still:
- 412 falls incidents reported in our community hospitals (2011/2012).
The campaign will be tailored towards patients, arriving at both our acute and community hospitals, who are potentially at risk of a fall and do not have safe, appropriate footwear.
Senior nurse in trauma Glynis Peat said: “We’re doing a lot of work both in the acute and community settings around preventing falls as not only can some patients end up injuring themselves when they have a fall, it can also affect their confidence.”
Clinical lead for falls and osteoporosis in Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, Kathryn Tate, added: “It’s key that we do everything we can to assess patients who are at risk of falling and take every measure possible to avoid an incident. This basic idea is one way we can make a difference to patients and are grateful to the charity for backing this cause. It will, of course, also provide patients with a little extra comfort during the course of their say with us.”
Anyone who wants to make a donation can:
- Donate by credit/debit card – call 01642 854469 or 835783
- Send a cheque or postal order made payable to South Tees Hospitals Charity (writing silver slipper appeal on the back of the cheque) to: South Tees Hospitals Charity, The James Cook University Hospital, The Murray Building, Chief executive’s department, Charitable Funds office, Marton Road, Middlesbrough, TS4 3BW