Falls in older people can have a devastating effect on both individuals and their families often resulting in serious injury, disability, early institutionalisation and even death all of which entail significant expenditure. Efforts to identify and implement effective preventative measures are high on the agenda of many CCGs and Local Authorities.
The Strategy Unit was commissioned to provide analytical and evidence appraisal support to a falls project across two CCGs. The project aimed to review existing schemes and develop a coherent, integrated and evidence based approach to minimise falls across the Health economy.
Three distinct but interrelated pieces of work were carried out:
- A descriptive analysis of falls incidence and falls related healthcare activity and costs. This included:
- Analysis of falls incidence in the community to understand the overall scale of the issue
- Analysis of fall related ambulance activity and costs
- Analysis of fall related A&E and inpatient activity and costs
- Analysis of hospital occurring falls
- A summary of existing fall intervention services
- An appraisal of recent literature on fall prevention interventions to identify the types of intervention either recommended by national guidance and/or proven to be effective through high quality research methodologies. The report outlined the key features of effective interventions and, where available, estimates of their effectiveness. This section of the work was carried out by our specialist Knowledge Management Team who also form part of the Strategy Unit.
- Finally a prospective model was developed to estimate the potential savings (in terms of reduced fall related healthcare activity and costs) that could be achieved if existing falls services were enhanced or if new interventions were introduced.