Report urges local focus over falls
Published on 10 May 2012 12:00 PM
An official report has called for a focus on local care as part of efforts to reduce the number of older people suffering falls.
The NHS Confederation report also called for the strategy for reducing falls to be more joined-up, urging closer working relationships between the NHS, local government and social care services.
The guidance suggests that a patient's NHS number can be factored into new proposals for monitoring their health in relation to falls. The Department of Health said that by rolling out such plans the number of people suffering falls could be reduced by nearly a third.
The NHS Confederation said under the current system not enough is being done to prevent people suffering another fall after the first incident. The group, which represents NHS managers in England, said an ageing population means fall prevention should be a major priority.
The report also claims the past two decades have seen some patients experiencing disjointed care. But the Department of Health said it is focussing on ways to boost treatment of falls and prevent them occurring in the first place.
Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director General of Age UK, said: 'We warmly welcome this briefing and urge local organisations to implement the recommendations.
'Falls and fractures are a serious threat to older people's health, wellbeing and independence, affecting one in three people over the age of 65. Falls cause pain, distress and loss of confidence and can have serious consequences, yet they are preventable.
'The quality of falls prevention services vary a great deal from place to place, this is unacceptable - we should have effective services in all areas to support people who have fallen and prevent it from happening again.
'We know that by investing in specialist services that help older people to avoid falling and breaking bones we can save the health service money.
'During Age UK's Falls Awareness Week 2012 (18-22 June) we will be working with falls prevention services, hospitals and other charities to promote activities that help reduce the risk of falling.
To find out more information about Age UK's Falls Awareness Week 2012 call 0800 169 87 87 or visit www.ageuk.org.uk/fallsweek
Download Age UK's free 'Staying Steady' guide (PDF, 785kb)
Copyright Press Association 2012