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Theme: Person-Centred Care
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.
PD SAFE study. This is collaboration with the Universities of Southampton, Exeter, Oxford and Newcastle.
Physiotherapy following hip fracture
Fracture Liaison Service Standards
Seat on NICE Quality Standards Advisory Committee for Falls
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.
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