Almost 200 people have been helped already by a new emergency falls vehicle launched on the Fylde Coast.

The vehicle, commissioned by the Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), provides an urgent response to both 999 and 111 calls from people who have fallen in their home or place of residence.

And with a number of events planned locally as part of Fylde Coast Falls Awareness Week, which starts on Monday, CCG bosses have announced that more than 180 people have been helped since the vehicle was first launched on 1 June.

In that time the car – which is undergoing a six-month pilot which is expected to be extended for a further six months – has attended 138 falls and 42 non-falls, and boasts a 100 per cent satisfaction rate according to feedback given by patients who have needed the service.

The emergency falls vehicle contains a multi-disciplinary nurse and a paramedic and, when a patient has fallen, they can assess and treat them on the scene. A clinician will then also carry out a falls risk assessment, which looks at a patient’s gait and balance, falls history, medication and environmental risks.

The falls vehicle has been commissioned by Fylde and Wyre CCG, in collaboration with North West Ambulance Service and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Rapid Response Plus.

It is intended that the vehicle will prevent people with minor injuries from going to hospital while helping reduce their risk of falling again in future.

Details of the fall and any treatment administered is shared with the patients’ GP and a follow-up risk assessment may be carried out later to minimise the risk of the patient falling again.

Dr Rob Smyth, GP and CCG clinical lead, said: “The new falls vehicle will provide an extra resource that we believe will benefit the residents of Fylde and Wyre.

“The population we serve has more elderly residents than the English average and we are aware that falls occur frequently.

“In some instances, having a fall doesn’t necessarily mean a hospital admission is required. This new scheme assesses patients using the current approach, but also assesses whether the patient would be best to remain at home.

“The team will make the necessary checks to best make sure the house is suitable and attempt to prevent further falls.

“Evidence gathered from previous projects suggests that people who do not require urgent medical care recover better at home.”

Sonya Scott, the service’s physiotherapist, explained how the ‘falls team’ recently helped a local resident.

She said: “A man had called 999 and when we arrived we found he only had a soft tissue injury and so gave him appropriate treatment for this minor injury.

“The environment in which he lived was quite chaotic. We undertook a holistic assessment and it showed that his home needed several pieces of equipment installed to help him.

“He was referred to the Rapid Reponse Team, which was able to buy a package of care and fit equipment.

“As well as installing the new equipment that will hopefully prevent further falls, the referral to rapid response helps us to provide further rehabilitation in the short term and refer on to other services.”

Fylde and Wyre CCG is currently reviewing the falls pathway for patients in the area and commissioners have held focus groups and consultations as they look to identify ways to lessen the risk of falls.

As part of Fylde Coast Falls Awareness Week, a number of events will run throughout next week at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, Clifton Hospital and in local communities across the Fylde Coast.