People in Fylde and Wyre who have suffered falls could be offered 12-week strength and balance courses as part of a new NHS service.

NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has launched a new community falls service designed to drastically reduce the number of injuries and deaths following falls in the home.

The CCG’s new falls service is provided by Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and is physiotherapy and occupational therapy-led, with patients referred into it receiving a full falls risk assessment and a personally tailored falls prevention plan.

The service team can arrange for equipment or minor home adaptations and provides rehabilitation programmes to support patients in their local community. For some patients, this includes a place on special courses to improve their strength and balance.

The service launched on 1 June and once it is fully operational patients will be referred into the service by any health or social care professional who identifies a risk. In the future, through the creation of a single point of access, it is intended that patients will be able to refer themselves in.

According to National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance:

  • 10 per cent of over 65-year-olds who fracture their hip will die within 30 days;
  • 30 per cent of over 65-year-olds who fracture their hip will die within a year;
  • 50 per cent of fragility fractures go on to fracture their hips;
  • 50 per cent never regain their previous mobility;
  • An ageing population means these incidents will increase by 50 per cent by 2030.
Dr Jacky Panesar, a Fleetwood GP who is Fylde and Wyre CCG’s clinical lead for falls, said: “Falls and fall-related injuries are a common and serious problem for older people and our figures tell us that 30 per cent of over-65s will fall at least once every year.

“Falling causes people distress, pain, injury, loss of confidence and loss of independence. In serious cases it can also cause death. This has a knock-on effect for family members and carers, while costing the NHS more than £2.3billion every year nationally and £3.3million in Fylde and Wyre.

“I am delighted we are in a position to offer this new service which will improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our society and also help reduce the number of people accessing emergency healthcare, putting us in a position to be more effective in treating our other patients.

“This will also help promote people’s independence and help patients in Fylde and Wyre to look after themselves in their own home and feel more confident and mobile.”

One initiative already under way across Fylde and Wyre is a pilot scheme of an emergency falls vehicle, which has already provided care to more than 700 patients and in many cases prevented the need for them to visit the hospital.

And under the new falls service, patients have access to priority bookable appointments seven days a week in the immediate aftermath of a fall, home assessments, falls prevention advice and the opportunity to take part in a 12-week group exercise programme to improve strength and balance.


Notes:

  • NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is the organisation responsible for planning and buying health services in the area to meet patients’ needs. This is known as ‘commissioning’.
  • Led by family doctors (GPs), the CCG currently serves a population of 152,000 people across approximately 320 sq km of coast and countryside. The majority live in the urban towns of Fleetwood, Thornton, Poulton-le-Fylde, Kirkham and Lytham St Annes, but a significant proportion live in rural villages.
  • The CCG receives a set amount of money from the government and is committed to spending this wisely for the benefit of local people.
  • Giving you more choice is a priority of the modern NHS. More information is available at fyldeandwyreccg.nhs.uk/choice
  • The NHS Constitution sets out your rights as an NHS patient: nhs.uk/choiceintheNHS/Rightsandpledges/NHSConstitution/Pages/Overview.aspx
  • There are many ways to get involved in health service developments, including joining our Influence membership scheme or your practice’s patient participation group.