Sandy Blake has been appointed as Clinical Lead for the National Falls Harm Prevention Programme. She is the Director of Nursing, Patient Safety and Quality, at Whanganui District Health Board, where she led the development of the DHB’s falls injury prevention programme, and sponsored a care indicator survey in the hospital and community to measure the prevalence and impact of falls.
In her previous position as state-wide nursing director of patient safety for Queensland Health, Sandy led the state falls injury prevention programme, directed policy development and implementation, and development of an online education module.
Sandy was the Project Lead for the National Falls Injury Prevention and Pressure Injury Prevention Mapping Project undertaken in late 2011.
Sandy says falls requiring significant additional treatment or causing life threatening injury represent a significant number of the serious and sentinel adverse events reported by New Zealand hospitals.
“Harm from a fall can change a patient’s life – it’s the number one reason for admission to aged residential care. We are compelled to do something; we must do whatever we can to reduce patient harm from falls."
There will be more information coming from the Commission around the scope and prioritisation of activities within this programme shortly. The Commission will work collaboratively with all stakeholders, service providers and health professionals to ensure we complement, not duplicate efforts in this important area.