Healthcare: On the Agenda - Bid to reduce falls among the elderly

In a nutshell

A report by the NHS Confederation's Ambulance Service Network gathered key data on falls, one of the leading causes of mortality resulting from injury in people aged over 75 in the UK.

The report and recommendations

The report aims to instigate a public campaign to prevent falls and call for investment in rehabilitation programmes. It highlighted how common falls are in people over 65, accounting for up to one quarter of ambulance call-outs. The Department of Health had estimated a falls prevention strategy could reduce falls by up to 30 per cent. The report said fracture services were not integrated and there was not enough emphasis on prevention. It also highlighted how serious a fall can be: half of those who suffer a hip fracture never regain their former level of function and one in five dies within three months. Key recommendations were the joining up of services and sharing of data between local commissioners and the NHS, social care and local government.

PR strategy

The report was sent to national and trade media. The confederation's deputy policy director Jo Webber was put up for interview. The press office tweeted key lines from the report, which were picked up by other health practitioners.

Media coverage

The report was covered by Telegraph Online, BBC online, the Press Association, Health Service Journal and local press.

60k - The number of elderly people who suffer a hip fracture each year in the UK*

14k - The number of people who die following a fall each year in the UK*

*Source: Age UK

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