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React to falls

React to falls

Falls can have a devastating effect on individuals and those around them. Physical injuries from falls can cause permanent disability which in some cases can be life threatening. Falling can affect a person’s quality of life; they may suffer loss of confidence and consequently fear physical and social activity.

In addition to the pain, distress, discomfort and psychological impact a fall can have on an individual; they also have a huge financial implication to health and social care organisations with an estimated cost to the NHS of £6 million a day.

As outlined in NHS England’s Falls Prevention and Management in Care Homes (2019), everyone working in a care home has a key role in identifying and reducing the risk of falls as part of supporting the health and wellbeing of residents. It is vital therefore that care home staff are equipped with the skills and tools necessary to identify those at risk of  falling and take appropriate measures to reduce these risks.

Our work

We are committed to supporting care homes in providing best care and is promoting the React to Falls Prevention principles in care homes across the Vale of York. The emphasis of this work is to reduce falls risks by implementation of a person centred, peripatetic approach to prevent and manage falls for each care home resident. Ideally all care staff should receive face to face React to Falls Prevention Training which is currently being delivered by the NHS Vale of York Nursing and Quality team.

Resources used include an educational video, workbook and self-assessment skills booklet which supports carers in recognising when an individual may be at increased risk of falls, and the steps that can be taken to reduce these risks. Care homes are being encouraged to use a ‘days between falls board’ to monitor falls and celebrate when days between goals are reached; along with a prompt sheet to help carers learn from previous falls, identify those residents that they have concerns about and discuss appropriate actions that as a team they can implement to help reduce those identified risks and concerns.

React to Falls Prevention’ identifies 3 key areas of risk: Physical,  Behavioural and Environmental; and the subsequent use of a simple framework that prompts carers to consider these risks and … ‘REACT’… to reduce the risk of falls.

The key messages are: BE PROACTIVE

  • React to falls before they happen
  • Support residents to continue to be active, mobilise safely and make their own lifestyle choices
  • Falls risk factors are individual to each resident
  • Managing falls is continuous process
  • Prevention of falls is everyone’s business
  • Involve residents in the prevention of falls

React to Falls Prevention is applicable across all care settings including domiciliary care and can be used by health professionals and informal cares alike.

The campaign resource consists of five parts with accompanying documents to view or download:

What is a fall and why is it important to prevent falls?

Why do residents fall and what are the risks?

Reducing the risk of falls

What should you be doing to react to falls?

Managing behaviour to reduce falls

Additional resources:

React Falls website https://www.reactto.co.uk/resources/react-to-falls/

Further information:

Contact Helen Degnan, Project Nurse, Vale of York CCG

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