Our Older Adult wards at Harplands Hospital are one of many hospitals across the country to be rolling out the Yellow Socks project, aimed at reducing the risk of falls amongst service users. As part of the scheme, patients who have been identified as more at risk of falls have been provided with yellow socks. This enables staff to know more clearly who the high risk of falls patients are and to put the necessary support in place.
It is hoped that this project will significantly reduce the amount of falls on Harplands wards as when initially trialled in 2021 at East Kent Hospitals University within six weeks the number of falls dropped by 50% in emergency departments and medical wards. To read more about the launch of the scheme visit their website here.
Around one in three adults over 65 who live at home or at hospital will have at least one fall a year, and this rises to approximately half of all people aged over 80 years*.
Falls is complex issue, especially amongst older patients. The issue of falls has multiple factors and some falls are inevitable, but through the Yellow Sock project the hope is that involving patients who need supervision or have a high risk of falls by giving them a pair of yellow socks, this will make them more easily identifiable and will show staff which patients need support if they are trying to stand.
As a project that will benefit both staff and patients, Mike Groden, Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Older Adults, feels the yellow socks project will have a positive affect:
“The yellow sock campaign is based upon national drivers that give credence to service improvement in the care of older people. Managing the complexities of health in the over sixty five year old population needs to be considered differently to other groups of people.
The aim the yellow socks scheme is simple in essence….. It is all about putting older patients at the centre of what we do! The yellow sock campaign provides us with a visual aid to older people at a high risk of falls.”
* Falls: applying All Our Health, Public Health England (2018) www.gov.uk/government/publications/falls-applying-all-our-health/falls-applying-all-our-health)