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Friday 28th October 2016

Elderly falls services 'gaps'

7th November 2007

A new report has highlighted gaps in care given to elderly people in England who have fallen and fractured bones.


The study, from the Royal College of Physicians, found that figures from 157 of the 173 hospital trusts showed nearly a third of hip fracture patients were not treated within the 48-hour target.

And of the 8,800 people covered by the data, many of them who were treated for falls and either classed as hip fracture patients or non-hip fractures (which includes wrist, pelvis or vertebra), did not get assessments to help them avoid future falls.

Lead author Dr Finbarr Martin said: “Despite several years of national policy and clear evidence based guidelines, local health services have much more progress to make in this vital clinical area for older people.

“The wide variation between the sites in this audit does show however what can be done, and it is up to local NHS commissioners, managers and clinicians to work together to provide for their local populations what only a few are currently achieving.?

Figures show that about a third of people over 65 will fall each year. Hip fractures, which occur in about 60,000 people a year who fall, cost the NHS £1.7bn and are associated with up to 14,000 deaths.

Guidelines developed by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence sets down a range of standards for health professionals to follow.

The National Osteoporosis Society said many fractures were preventable and the Department of Health is issuing new guidance to improve standards.


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