A clinical manager at a south coast care home provider has completed an internationally recognised older people’s care fellowship course with a prestigious merit award.
Lindsay Rees chose falls prevention as the focus of her year on the Masters-level programme at King’s College London, the UK’s top university for nursing.
The group-wide Clinical Manager at Colten Care was among only 30 participants nationally and one of just two from outside the NHS.
Her falls project involved redesigning how two Colten homes assess and manage the risk of residents falling.
After a detailed literature review to identify current best practice, Lindsay introduced a new individual falls risk factor assessment and care plan, supported by staff engagement and awareness resources.
These help staff to understand the causes of falls and put measures in place to reduce the risk of further falls, while promoting residents’ independence and wellbeing.
In one of the pilot homes, Braemar Lodge in Salisbury, falls were observed to have decreased by more than a third.
Lindsay said: “Reducing the number of falls in care homes benefits residents’ quality of life and avoids hospital admissions.
“I feel really honoured to have had the opportunity to research this specialism on the fellowship course and put the findings directly into action for the benefit of our residents.
“Colleagues at both our pilot homes have been totally engaged and responsive.”
Lindsay, who did her nurse training at Southampton General Hospital and has strategic responsibilities for the clinical care of more than 1,000 residents, has presented her findings on falls management to the Health Education England Patient Advisory Forum.
She has also delivered a presentation about her project and her place on the fellowship at a House of Lords reception hosted by Baroness Sally Greengross OBE, a peer specialising in issues around dementia, ageing and older people.
Lindsay said: “Virtually all the other participants on the fellowship were senior NHS professionals.
“It was very rewarding to combine my private sector experience with their NHS insight.
“My role leading clinical excellence at Colten Care provided the skills and knowledge to talk and learn effectively at this level.
“It was a fantastic opportunity to study with this talented group of professionals.”
Following the pilots at Braemar Lodge and the Poole dedicated dementia care home, The Aldbury, Lindsay is looking to roll out the falls management resources across all 20 Colten homes.
Jackie Cash, Clinical Lead at Braemar Lodge, said: “We were already proactive about falls management but Lindsay’s input has helped engage all our staff more directly.”
Home Manager Alison Bremner added: “The resources are very visual. Having done supervisions using them with both day and night staff, I am confident our nurses feel more empowered in looking for correlations between falls and deciding on interventions and what is needed to ensure safety.”
Colten Care Operations Director Elaine Farrer said: “We are proud to have supported Lindsay through this prestigious programme as part of our overall commitment to clinical excellence.
“Ongoing personal development of team members, including the opportunity to take part in up-to-date learning and research, helps ensure our residents receive the best care possible.”
The King’s College fellowship is run by older people’s health experts at its Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery.
Recognised world rankings rate the faculty as the best in the UK for nursing and number three globally.