Five NHS falls deaths in Northamptonshire in less than a year

editorial image

The NHS trust responsible for Northamptonshire mental health has seen five deaths of patients from falls in 10 months.

Latest Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust (NHFT) figures showed there were also 13 injuries in two years that resulted in severe harm.

The number of deaths was highlighted by the watchdog, Northamptonshire Healthwatch, who were given sight of them in a draft report and who have called for more information.

Responding to the report, Healthwatch Northamptonshire’s board papers said: “Given that there were 13 reported incidences of severe harm and six deaths resulting from falls in 2013/14, we would like to see more detail about the falls prevention strategy, monitoring procedures, learning from serious incidents and how changes will be implemented.

“We wish to receive detail about the six deaths and other incidences of severe harm, in an anonymised format, to understand why the falls occurred and what learning has been implemented.”

In total, there were 28 falls that resulted in broken bones. Of those, eight resulted in moderate harm, 13 in severe harm, and there were six deaths.

Three were community patients in their own homes who died as a result of their injuries. And three were inpatients who sustained fractures on the ward and were taken to the local acute trusts where they died from underlying health conditions, which, NHFT said, were “not necessarily” linked to the fall .

Most falls occurred in older people’s wards and with the exception of one patient, each was aged over 65 years old.

A spokeswoman for NHFT said: “We are committed as a trust to reducing the harm from falls that our patients experience.

“We have a dedicated falls prevention team working in the community helping prevent our older patients having falls and have identified it as a priority for 2014/15,”