Comment - Standard setting

This issue of Frontline looks at a clinical theme that so many of our members deal with on a daily basis: reducing the risk of falls.

There are, of course, many teams around the UK that deal with falls, particularly among older groups of people.

One of the reasons why the team in Westminster came to our attention was that its data on outcomes were sufficiently robust be able to show how effective the service has been.

That has been key to the team winning commissioning contracts.

Team members could demonstrate that the number of falls among people who had taken part in their programme was cut by 47 per cent in a year.

Meanwhile, admissions to hospital for falls were reduced by 25 per cent.

What commissioner could argue with those outcomes?

The project in Liverpool, in which gym equipment was installed in places where people would actually use it, is another example of how timely intervention can not only improve older people’s lives, but also save public sector money too.

As budget cuts in the NHS bite, we must demonstrate what we already know: that physiotherapy really does work.

It’s particularly important now as public health funding is shifting from the NHS to local government.

Falls services mustn’t lose out as the inevitable tussle ensues over who is going to foot the bill for what.

By the time you read this, attention will be focused on Mid-Staffordshire as we try to understand how the trust’s culture allowed so much to go wrong without anyone stepping in to stop it.

The CSP has always been committed to giving members the resources and support they need to provide a professional service that treats patients with dignity, in line with their professional code.

Do read Karen Middleton’s ‘In Perspective’ column.

Lynn Eaton Managing editor, Frontline

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