Skip to main content

Research and Projects

Falls

Who is involved?

Theme: Person-Centred Care
Status: Complete

Background

Falls are the leading cause of accident-related mortality in people over the age of 75. They are the dominant cause of injury in the over-65s and a major cause of disability. More than 400,000 old people in England are taken to Accident and Emergency departments following an accident; a higher number than any other age group, as falls are combined with an increased susceptibility to injury. The annual healthcare costs associated with such fractures is an estimated £2 billion.  Falls, or the inability to get up after a fall, impact older people in a number of ways, which include a risk of infection, lack of independence and loss of confidence.

The 2010 report into the national audit of falls and bone health in elder people by the Royal College of Physicians stated that few healthcare organisations offer an adequate service to prevent falls in older people who have already sustained a fracture. Only 19% of non-hip fracture patients undertake any form of exercise aimed at preventing future falls within 12 weeks of their fracture. Effective falls and fracture prevention services can save a primary care trust with a population of 320,000 over £250,000 over five years.

Current projects

PD SAFE study. This is collaboration with the Universities of Southampton, Exeter, Oxford and Newcastle.

Projects in development

Physiotherapy following hip fracture

Useful links

Age UK guidance on falls prevention
Royal College of Physicians FallSafe project
Chartered Society of Physiotherapy information on falls and fraility

Other contributions the project has made to falls nationally

Fracture Liaison Service Standards
Seat on NICE Quality Standards Advisory Committee for Falls

Project aims

In the pilot CLAHRC (2008-2013), the original aim of the Falls project was to undertake a step-wedge randomised controlled trial to evaluate a primary care intervention to reduce falls (based on the achievements of a local GP practice). However, an updated Cochrane review, the funding of large RCT (PreFIT) and discussion with local falls specialists focussed our attention on implementation and resulted in two systematic reviews on implementing falls prevention into practice and the establishment of the Peninsula Falls Network. Local expertise in physiotherapy, Parkinson’s and fall prevention continues to develop.

Peninsula Falls Network

To receive the quarterly Peninsula Falls Network Newsletter contact Vicki Goodwin or Sophie Marcevics.

Publications

 

Others Involved

Dr Sarah Dean, Dr Obi Ukoumunne, Dr Jo Thompson-Coon, Rebecca Whear, Dr Rebecca Abbott, Alison Bethel, Dr Sue Richards, Prof Rod Taylor, Annie Hawton, Jim Harris