After The Fall, The Fallout.
A lady was admitted to a London Hosptal after a fall.
Her Care was then turned into a political Football. But what of the other 300,000 older people who are injured each year as a result of falls.
:This is the report,
The only uncontroversial fact in the Political row over the allegid negelect of the lady. [I am naming No names] in the A&E department at the Hospital in North London. is that she was abmitted after falling at home.
Department of Trade and Industry [DTI] statistics show that ever 5 hours an older person is killed by an accidential fall in there own home, and each year more then 300,000 Pensioners need hospital treatment for injuries caused by falls.
Those sodering statistics explian why so much work is underway to reduce falls, and to ensure better treatment and rehabilition for people injure themselves falling.
The National Intustute For Clinical Excellence has asked Nurse researchers at the RCN institute to develope clinical guidelines for assessing the prevention of falls in elderly people.
The National Collaborating Centre for Nursing and Surrportive Care which is one of six centres nationwide will provide authoritative and reliable guidance For Nurses in several priority areas, including falls. A spokesman for NICE says work on clinical guidelines for falls is at an early stage, with there scope yet to be finalised, but it reflects how seriously being taken. Falls are also covered by one of the standards in the government's National Service Framework For Older People Which was launched in England last year.
The NFS will introduce big changes in the way that Nurses and others approch this area of Care.
It recognises that falls do not just happen in peoples homes ans it brodarns its approch to include acute hospitals and care homes.
The NFS acknowledges Older people are at particular risk of falling in hospital and Residential Care of Nursing Homes. Falls in these settings should be recorded on registers.
Clinical incident analysis following a fall will develope an awareness ans learning culture among staff and will ensure that action taken will minimise future incedents. The NFS stipulates that every NHS trust private hospital care home, social services must have audiited its falls procedures by 2003 which will be staffed by Nurses as well as a consultant in old age medicine social workers a pharmacist and allied health professionals.
How will this new way of preventing and treating falls. Older people will be reffered to a specialist service, particularly if they attend A&E after falling, fall in a hospital of live in unsafe housing conditions.
Specilist assessment should be carried out by the service to identify risk factors and interventions, which could include rehabilitation. Staff in A&E and Orthopaedics will work with the service to examine thier current practice and agree new procedures for the care of older people with hip fractures. of other serious injuries.
In tandem with the department oh health's focus on falls through the NFS, the DTI is supporting a campaign to prevent falls in community settings under the slogen Avoiding slips trips broken hips.
Health promotion England wants to make Health Care professionals including community nurses aware of the intrinsic risk factors that can make older people more vunerable to falls and risk factors in peoples homes.
The information it provides for professionals including free fact sheets resource packs and posters stresses and older people casn be more at risk if they take multiple medications have visual impairments, congnitive difficulties and mobility problems.
But equally falls can be caused by poor lighing, steep stairs, loose carpets, slippery floors and badly fitting foot wear. hardly rocket science but all things which if put right could save lives.