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Report calls to cut elderly falls

10th May 2012

The NHS Confederation has warned that any approach to helping cut falls among elderly people needs to be driven at local rather than national level.

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It suggests a more joined-up strategy with prevention the key priority with falls now a leading cause of death in people in the UK over the age of 75.

Evidence suggests more than half the people over 80 will suffer a fall this year and such an incident can affect their confidence.

Jo Webber, representing ambulance services in the NHS Confederation, said: “We have to take the opportunity of the NHS reforms to get organisations across health, social care and local authorities working together.

“Effective falls services that are already up and running across the country show that for little initial investment, patients are getting better care, more falls are being prevented and money is being saved.”

The NHS Confederation has raised concerns that government policy in this area has not been effective in recent years with a lack of joined-up care and is now urging local government, the NHS and social care services to work more closely on the issue.

The Department of Health has said that such a fall prevention strategy could cut falls by 30% and acknowledged that a joined up approach from social care and the NHS is the most effective way forward. Legal conditions and financial incentives are being implemented to drive this forward.

Age UK welcomed the report and Michelle Mitchell from the charity added that quality of falls prevention services varied from place to place.

 

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