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Untoward Incidents (Health Trusts)

Volume 401: debated on Tuesday 18 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many NHS hospital trusts have an action plan to reduce the number of elderly people who fall in hospital; and whether these action plans include introducing bed guards or fall monitors for high-risk patients; [1005141](2) what action he is taking to reduce the number of elderly people who fall in hospital wards; [100512](3) how many elderly people were delayed from hospital discharge in the last quarter because of a fall within a hospital. [100513]

The Department does not collect information centrally on the number of older people affected by falls during a hospital stay. In-patient central records monitor why a patient has entered a hospital but do not necessarily record subsequent changes to the reason they are being cared for in hospital.The national service framework for older people, published in 2001, requires all hospitals to recognise, assess and minimise the risks that hospital admission can pose for older people, as part of good management.The Government have established the national patient safety agency to improve the safety of national Health service patient care by introducing a national reporting and learning system for adverse events and by promoting an open and fair culture.NHS Estates is also developing guidance for hospital facilities for older people and this will include reference to patient safety, including falls.