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Shoulder Reduction Bench Project: improving care for patients with shoulder dislocations
  1. Philip Dowson
  1. Emergency Department, City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, Sunderland, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Philip Dowson; phildowson{at}


This paper presents the background, methodology and results of a quality improvement project undertaken at a district general hospital. The project was launched in response to the concerning results from audit data which showed significant delays in the treatment of patients with shoulder dislocations and a high percentage of patients receiving procedural sedation. Using ‘Plan-Do-Study-Act’ cycles involving training sessions, written protocols and an online video, we were able to train a large cohort of nurse practitioners in the use of the Shoulder Reduction Bench. This is a relatively novel, evidence-based technique for reducing shoulder dislocations without the need for sedation. The new shoulder dislocation protocol was successful in reducing the average time from presentation to shoulder relocation by 31 min and the average time from presentation to discharge by 52 min. It also resulted in a 68% reduction in the number of patients receiving procedural sedation over a 6-month period. This project inspired the practitioners, most of whom had never reduced a shoulder dislocation before. The success of the new shoulder reduction bench protocol prompted interest from the trust’s innovation department and has been publicised both within the trust and regionally. This publicity and the satisfaction gained by the staff from this effective new skill have helped to anchor the change in departmental culture. Link to training video:

  • emergency department
  • quality improvement
  • PDSA
  • patient-centred care
  • team training

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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