Programme Case Studies

Yorkshire Huddles


Falls are estimated to cost the NHS more than £2.3billion per year. Inpatient falls can lead to hip fractures and other injuries, whilst even falls without harm can lead to loss of confidence and increased length of stay for patients.

The Yorkshire and Humber AHSN Improvement Academy is actively working with more than 80 frontline teams across 23 organisations to implement our Huddle Up for Safer Healthcare (HUSH) programme.


  • The average reduction in falls (so far) across all the wards we are working with is 30% 
  • For those wards that embed huddles and achieve a step change the average reduction is 50%
  • One ward moved from an average of one fall per week to repeatedly achieving 30 days between falls and up to 60 days
  • A preliminary health economics evaluation showed a ROI of 388% 
  • To date 1,546 patients who would have fallen haven’t and £1.1m saved from direct care costs
  • As Yorkshire Huddles are scaled up, the impact is beginning to show in Trust-wide data (see chart)
  • The programme is being extended to include pressure ulcers, care of deteriorating patients and reducing incidents of violence and aggression on mental health wards.
  • Early culture survey results indicate improved teamwork, engagement and safety culture
  • Kent Surrey Sussex AHSN’s Patient Safety Collaborative is adopting the HUSH approach in their implementation work
  • The active ingredients that make this programme effective and sustainable are being shared with teams and organisations across Yorkshire, and further afield
  • The programme is being fully evaluated by the University of Bradford Evaluation Unit

“We have been delighted to work with the Yorkshire and Humber Improvement Academy on safety huddles. The whole ward team have really embraced the safety huddle concept. We have reached the milestone of 30 days without a fall today, which given the history of falls on this ward is really significant.” Dr Alan Hart-Thomas, Clinical Director, Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS Trust

“Huddles are the best thing we’ve ever done” Amy Hargreaves, Senior Sister, J46, Lincoln Wing, St James’ University Hospital, Leeds

Chart illustrating Trust wide impact on all falls
Chart illustrating Trust wide impact on all falls