Healthcare organisations face an increasing challenge in managing the immediate consequences of falls while implementing a proactive, coordinated, and preventive approach to reducing falls and promoting healthy ageing.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) reports that the cost of falls to the NHS amounts to more than £2.3 billion every year, meaning the NHS spends more than £6 million each day as a result of falls. An estimate by NICE in 2015 shows that inpatient falls, or falls that occur in hospitals, account for 25% of this cost. In 2015, an estimated 250,000 inpatients experienced a fall, costing trusts around £2,600 per patient. The remaining 75% of this cost, over £1.7 billion, is spent due to falls happening at home, in care homes, and the community.
More importantly than the financial cost of falls, the impact that falls have on older people is serious. Falls are the leading reason older people lose their independence and go into long-term care. A fall will also often cause an older person to enter a downward spiral of a fear of falling, leading to inactivity, loss of strength and balance, and, as a result, an increased risk of further falls. Falls in older people can result in various consequences, ranging from physical to social and psychological factors.
With an ageing population, the risk of falls and related injuries is a rising national challenge. Falls are a leading cause of severe injuries and fatalities among older individuals. The repercussions extend beyond the affected individuals to the broader healthcare system, manifesting in increased healthcare costs and resource strain.
A shift towards a more preventative, coordinated and collaborative approach is vital. Identifying individuals at risk of falls early and providing targeted interventions can significantly reduce the incidence of falls and improve the quality of life for older individuals.
Digital solutions can be pivotal in promoting healthy ageing and fall prevention. Through personalised assessment tools and action plans, Steady On Your Feet ensures individuals understand their fall risks and empowers them to take preventive measures. Moreover, our platform facilitates collaboration among local partners and stakeholders, promoting a community-centric model for fall prevention and healthy ageing.
As the NHS continues championing healthy ageing, integrating fall prevention strategies within this broader initiative is imperative. By doing so, we not only contribute to reducing the incidence of falls but also to fostering a society where individuals can age healthily and continue to lead active, fulfilling lives.
Our journey towards promoting healthy ageing and preventing falls is a collaborative one. With the right tools, support, and community engagement, we can make significant strides towards a future where everyone can stay active, healthy and stronger for longer.
Proactive promotion and empowerment for active, healthy living is vital. With more access to information, advice, self-assessment tools and personal interventions, individuals have the knowledge and resources to maintain mobility and independence, reducing the likelihood of falls.
Streamlined pathways for identifying, assessing, and intervening in fall risks are crucial for proactive fall prevention. Enhanced pathways empower healthcare providers to deliver personalised, timely interventions, minimising fall incidents and promoting active living.
NICE guidelines underline the importance of multifactorial assessments, interventions, and strength & balance training in fall prevention. Adhering to these guidelines is pivotal for ensuring quality care and patient safety for NHS Trusts and Local Authorities.
Facilitating collaboration among local partners and stakeholders is key to promoting a community-centric model for fall prevention and healthy ageing.