How West Suffolk Hospital are using Raizer Lifting Chairs to improve the patient and staff experience
Case Study at a glance
West Suffolk Hospital have implemented Raizer Lifting Chairs across the trust to respond to falls in and around the hospital. This is enabling them to improve the patient and staff experience by providing a quicker and more dignified response to falls.
The Case Study Video
The Challenge: Responding to falls around the hospital and poor dignity when using a hoist & sling
Inpatient falls are a common problem for hospitals, as the following shows;
“Falls are the most frequently reported incident affecting hospital inpatients, with 247,000 falls occurring in inpatient settings each year in England alone. Such events lead to increased length of stay, loss of confidence, restriction of physical activity, functional impairment, diminished independence and an increased risk of further falls. All of which affect patients’ quality of life.”
National Audit of Inpatient Falls (NAIF) Annual Report, 2020
West Suffolk Hospital (WSH) is a district general hospital based in Bury St Edmunds, providing hospital and community services to an area of around 600 square miles and a population of around 280,000 people.
Falls at the hospital don’t just occur in wards. People fall over in corridors, in car parks, in the café at the front of the hospital, and many other places. Historically, WSH were using a hoist and sling to get fallen people up from the floor. This was not a good solution, for three reasons;
- Most of their fallers are ambulant, mobile people who may be experienced a temporary health condition that contributed to the fall, so a hoist and sling was an overly passive intervention that took their dependence away.
- It involved a lot of manual handling to roll and manoeuvre the fallen person to get the sling in position, and then lifting them up into a chair. In public spaces, this process – and the space required – was undignified.
- It took several staff and was time consuming to find a hoist and sling, and then wheel it to the location of the fall, before then lifting the person up. This meant the fallen person spent longer than necessary on the floor, and the staff were spending more time than necessary responding to falls.
The Solution: Implementing Raizer Lifting Chairs to respond to falls around the hospital
To solve these problems, WSH have implemented 10 Raizer Lifting Chairs across the trust to respond to falls in and around the hospital, with each Raizer shared between a few adjoining wards.
What is the Raizer?
The Raizer is a motorised lifting chair that assembles around a fallen person and lifts them up to a seated or perching position. It is easy to assemble and use for the caregiver, and it is safe, smooth and very reassuring for the fallen person.
The Raizer serves as a more dignified method of getting a fallen person up from the floor, whilst taking up less space and time than hoisting would. And the Raizer was chosen over other falls lifting equipment due to the stability and support the chair provides.
The Impact and Results: Quicker and more dignified falls response, improving the patient experience
For the inpatients and outpatients at WSH, the Raizer allows them to be lifted up from the floor after a fall in a dignified manner, especially in public spaces where the Raizer’s compactness and quiet, smooth operation allows for getting up from the floor quickly, safely and subtly.
Whereas a hoist requires transfer to a wheelchair or similar, the Raizer enables the fallen person to walk away from the chair after the lift is complete – with the help of a walking frame etc. if needed
The simplicity of the Raizer also means the fallen person spends less time on the floor, as the staff can assemble it and lift the faller up quicker – reducing the risk of pressure damage and other harm from spending too long on the floor.
For the hospital staff on the wards, the Raizer is simple and easy to use. As the Raizer assembles around the fallen person, there is minimal moving of the patient to fit the chair and commence the lift. The Raizer then does the lift, with the staff member only needing to support the fallers head and press the button.
With one of the biggest pressures on ward today being time, being able to use the Raizer to quickly lift the fallen person means WSH can respond to falls quicker and spend less time doing so, allowing them to spend more time on patient care.
The NHS trust
The Raizer chair is reducing injuries to staff at WSH because of the minimal manual handling involved and the simplicity of using it.
Staffing shortages mean that 2 staff will not always be available to respond, so a solution that can be used by one person to lift a fallen person from the floor is very important and beneficial.
Learnings & Conclusions
By implementing Raizer Lifting Chairs on their wards and around the hospital, West Suffolk NHS Trust are;
- Responding to falls quicker, minimising the impact on staff time
- Providing a more dignified solution for fallers
- Improving the patient and staff experience