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Norms of Staff Responses to Falls in Residential Care Homes

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Scott-Thomas, Jeanette, Graham, Yitka, Ling, Jonathan, Barrigan, Marie and Hayes, Catherine (2017) Norms of Staff Responses to Falls in Residential Care Homes. Journal of Paramedic Practice, 9 (11). pp. 476-482. ISSN 2041-9457

Item Type: Article


The aim of the current research was to review the first-line response to patient falls
in the independent care sector in North East England. The authors used an online
questionnaire via 'Survey Monkey' software package, and a convenience sample of
24 of 32 independent care sector homes from South Tyneside, representing a 75%
response rate. Policies and guidelines for falls were investigated and the findings
highlight the disparate responses to incidences in care-home settings. Despite 96%
having a policy on falls, only 80% included an assessment of possible injury or
harm and 13% included no direct guidance for staff when residents fall. The most
common action was to ring emergency services to move patients, even in the
absence of physical injury. There was considerable ambiguity around the assessment
of injuries and whose responsibility this was, particularly in falls with potentially
non-visible injuries. Ambiguity was also present in the management of falls, where
there was overlap between accident and falls policies. The current research highlights
the need for policy standardisation. There is a potential fiscal impact on emergency
ambulance services when they are contacted as the first-line response for falls
regardless of the occurrence of injury. This has implications on staff education and
the strategic planning of emergency ambulance services. Further consideration on the
suitability of falls policies is urgently required.

jpar 2017 0027-1 Final Draft 11 10 17.pdf - Accepted Version

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More Information

Depositing User: Catherine Hayes


Item ID: 8305
ISSN: 2041-9457
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Yitka Graham: ORCID iD
ORCID for Jonathan Ling: ORCID iD
ORCID for Catherine Hayes: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2017 11:24
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2023 10:09


Author: Yitka Graham ORCID iD
Author: Jonathan Ling ORCID iD
Author: Catherine Hayes ORCID iD
Author: Jeanette Scott-Thomas
Author: Marie Barrigan

University Divisions

Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing
Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing > School of Nursing and Health Sciences


Sciences > Health Sciences
Sciences > Nursing

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