NHS bosses act to reduce falls -patients harmed from falls on wards 49 times in a month

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Patients are being injured in falls on shortstaffed wards at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust.

There were 49 “falls with harm” on wards at the trust in May, a report to the organisation’s last board meeting shows.

The Staffing Analysis report said 11 of the falls were on Gate 12, the acute assessment unit at Pinderfields Hospital.

In May there were also 46 cases of patients developing pressure ulcers at the trust, which also runs Pontefract and Dewsbury hospitals.

Both falls and pressure ulcers have previously been highlighted as a risk caused by short staffing at Mid Yorkshire, which has been struggling with a national shortage of nurses.

The trust said sensor mats were among new equipment being used to prevent patient falls.

Chief nurse Sally Napper said: “We are committed to providing our patients with quality care and we take all patient safety incidents seriously.

“We have reviewed our processes so that we can quickly identify patients at risk of falls and we have also purchased a range of different equipment.

“We have also invested in the provision of one-to-one support for patients identified as being at a higher risk of falling.”

The report said there had been an increase in nursing vacancies because students were no longer qualifying between January and March after universities moved to a one entry per year system.

Mid Yorkshire said 274 nurses and midwives had been recruited over the past year.

The trust has been recruiting nurses from abroad and has offered jobs to 89 nurses from India.

Mrs Napper added: “Our recruitment plans continue and include plans for open events and attendance at jobs fairs.

“In addition, the recruitment team are working on a Return to Practice programme with a local university.

“We organise a monthly recruitment event to help ensure we attract the best local nursing talent.”