North Tyneside CCG News

New service hopes to significantly reduce falls in North Tyneside

Fri 22nd September 2017

A new service hopes to significantly reduce the number of injuries and deaths caused by falls at home in North Tyneside.

The new Community Falls Service will be launched on 1 October 2017, with support from NHS North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).  Once it is fully operational, it will offer specialist advice and assessments for people who have recently fallen, or who are at risk of falling.

Dr John Matthews, a local GP and Clinical Chair of North Tyneside CCG, said: “Trips, slips and falls are amongst the most common accidents in the home. If you are young, mobile and healthy, that usually means just minor bumps and bruises, but if you are older or less mobile, they can be much more dangerous.

Falling heavily can lead to serious injuries or broken bones, which can result in a hospital admission, long term disability and even death..

We will always make sure the right support is there if you do fall  but we want to prevent falls in the first instance, as far as possible.”

Falls and related injuries are a significant problem for older people. 30% of people over 65, and 50% of people over 80 have at least one fall in a year, with one fall in twenty leading to hospital admission.”

Dr Matthews added: “Evidence suggests that we can reduce the number of falls if people at risk are identified early.  The new service will be key to helping people stay safe and avoid those hospital attendances if at all possible.”

As a patient, you can be referred to the falls service by any health or social care professional. A falls specialist will then visit you at home and provide advice and guidance on exercises or equipment to help you to reduce the risk of falling.

Friday 22 September 2017 sees the start of the Regional Falls Awareness Campaign Week, to promote the services and interventions that can help people reduce the risk of a fall.

To support the awareness week, patients in North Tyneside along with healthcare professionals have contributed to a short film providing practical tips to help people avoid falling. This work was undertaken in partnership with the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and Cumbria.

Sandra Gillings, a member of the Patient Forum Group, said: “Falls in the elderly are common and can cause serious injuries that are life-changing for both the patient and their family.

“We have been working hard to reduce the likelihood that someone may suffer a fall, and projects like the video are a great way to raise awareness. We hope the Group’s hard work and dedication will help prevent falls across North Tyneside.”

For more information on Falls Prevention Week and to watch the awareness film, click here.