The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has named 10 local authority teams that it will work with on falls prevention.
RoSPA’s public health adviser said falls are by far the single largest cause of A&E attendances
The work, supported by the CSP, will be part of RoSPA’s Stand Up, Stay Up project. It aims to raise awareness of how to prevent falls.
Spread across England, the 10 teams are located in:
- Blackburn with Darwen
- Brighton and Hove
- Hammersmith and Fulham
The teams were chosen because of the high rates of falls among their local populations, as well as the high numbers of older residents.
For example, in Brighton and Hove people aged 65 and over account for more than 13 per cent of the residents. According to RoSPA this part of the country has a higher rate of emergency admissions for hip fractures in people over 65 than other areas of the England.
Sandwell in the West Midlands has 2,400 falls a year, higher than the regional and national figures.
Promoting falls services
A spokesperson for RoSPA said the project was designed to help organisations maximise falls prevention initiatives in their local communities. This will include training staff and volunteers and promoting falls services.
He also said the charity was looking to build a nationwide network of falls prevention professionals. The idea is to enable sharing of knowledge, updates and best practice. RoSPA is looking for health professionals to sign up to this.
Stuart Palma, a CSP professional adviser, said: ‘It’s really important that those of us with expertise in falls prevention are involved in this project and get in touch with RoSPA.’
In March, the RoSPA Stand Up, Stay Up initiative received a funding boost from the Department of Health. A £725,360 grant from the department will be available over three years.
Sheila Merrill, RoSPA’s public health adviser, said: ‘Falls are by far the single largest cause of A&E attendances. They affect most families and destroy the quality of life for those who suffer them.
‘There are more than four million A&E attendances leading to 333,000 hospital admissions for accidents to people over 65. This is why we were absolutely delighted to receive this funding to help tackle the issue.’
Preventing falls in hospital
Meanwhile the Royal College of Physicians published a guide today that aims to help prevent serious injuries and unnecessary costs to the NHS caused by older people tripping or falling when they are in hospital.
Catherine Pope, CSP chair of council welcomed the guide’s focus on inpatient falls, saying that far too many of these are preventable and the consequences can be so traumatic.
‘Physiotherapists play a crucial role in preventing falls, whether on the ward or in the community, and it is essential that greater investment is made to keep people active and well, and ease the pressure on hospitals,’ she said.
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