Project Lead

Julia Gheller

Lead partner

Western Health

MacHSR Future Leaders Fellowship program (2023 cohort).

Single-patient use non-slip or grip socks are regularly used in Victorian Hospitals to reduce the risk of slips and falls. A recent rapid review demonstrated there is no evidence that grip socks prevent inpatient falls, and global falls prevention guidelines do not recommend their use. This project will support the co-design of strategies to de-implement grip socks with input from key stakeholders and evaluate the impact of the de-implementation strategy at Western Health. Evaluation of the financial and environmental savings will occur. The de-implementation of grip socks would not only save the health service thousands of dollars per year but would contribute to sustainable practices in line with the Western Health sustainability plan.

Following the release of the Falls Improvement Plan in April 2022, local policies were updated to state that grip socks should not be used as an evidence-based falls prevention strategy. Despite this, product ordering has increased. Reducing product waste is a key objective in the Western Health and Department of Health’s sustainability plans. Grip socks are single patient use, with substantial financial and environmental costs. The de-implementation of grip socks would not only support the health service financially, but would also contribute to sustainable practices in terms of product manufacturing and disposal and ensure that Western Health is practicing in line with international recommendations.