Hospitals To Get Special Flooring?

A hospital on the Isle of Wight's testing out special new flooring - to see if it'll help prevent patients getting hurt if they fall over.

The University of Portsmouth has launched a study which will examine if the foam flooring more commonly used in sports halls could help reduce the number of injuries.

Amy Drahota, from the university's school of health science and social work, said: "Older people are especially vulnerable to falls because they are more unsteady on their feet and this can be worse when they are unwell in hospital and walking in unfamiliar surroundings.

"If they do have a fall then shock absorbent flooring may help reduce the severity of their injuries and result in a swifter recovery and briefer stay in hospital."

She said that falls are the leading cause of death in people over 75 with 30% of people older than 65 suffering a fall at least once a year and 15% falling at least twice.

The Helping Injury Prevention in Hospitalised Older People (Hip-hop) study uses flooring which looks like ordinary vinyl but has a memory foam backing with shock absorbing properties.

The hospitals which are testing the new flooring are St Mary's Hospital in Newport on the Isle of Wight, York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Harrogate District Hospital and Ellesmere Port Hospital.

The study has received charitable funding from the Dunhill Medical Trust and the National Osteoporosis Society.