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Tuesday 18th June 2019

NHS badly manage elderly falls

18th May 2011

The results of a NHS audit have revealed that hospitals are not providing good enough treatment for elderly people who have suffered falls.


The Royal College of Physicians said there was "unacceptable variation" in care standards in hospitals in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

MPs said changes to care were being undertaken in order to make improvements.

Paul Burstow, Minister for Care Services, said: "Every part of the NHS should be learning from this audit to make sure they are adopting best practice."

"The government is promoting prevention and investing in services to help people with their rehabilitation and NICE [the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence] is putting in place new quality standards."

Patients over the age of 65 who suffered falls and fractures occupied hospital beds for over four million days in England in a year and cost £2 billion.

Annually in the UK, over half a million elderly people go to A&E departments after having a fall and 200,000 have fractures because of osteoporosis. 

Data collected for the audit from 10,000 patients from all NHS acute trusts, or equivalent, in England, Wales and Northern Ireland showed a mere 37% gave patients any type of fracture-liaison treatment as a preventative measure against future breaks.

One third of patients were not given any medication for their pain after an hour on arrival at hospital.

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