Older people who experience falls are frequently in contact with nurses in all sectors of health care. You can use these pages to find out about the falls-related projects the RCN is involved in and the guidance and resources available to you on falls and older people.
Falls are multifactorial in nature and can be a marker of other conditions. For people who experience falls there can be an erosion of independence and confidence.
For the wider health and social care community there is a cost in resources and for nurses there is a need to understand the best evidence based intervention in prevention, treatment and management.
The number of people aged 65 and over is projected to rise by over 40 per cent in the next 17 years to more than 16 million (Office for National Statistics, 2015). Thirty percent of people aged 65 and over will fall at least once a year. For those aged 80 and over it is 50 per cent (NICE, 2013).
The RCN is involved in the following projects:
- The RCN is working with the Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee to produce guidance for paramedics to ensure thorough assessment of factors relating to falls and that the appropriate support and referrals are in place if the person is not conveyed to hospital, this guidance will be published shortly.
- The RCN is on the steering group of the Acute Frailty Network which aims to improve clinical journeys for people living with frailty, of which falls is a marker.
- The RCN sits on the steering group of the National Audit of Intermediate Care which collects data to benchmark service provision for patients who require intermediate care, many of whom experience falls. This ensures that appropriate nursing data is collected and the voice of nursing is shared. The National Audit of Intermediate Care aims to take a whole system view of the effectiveness of intermediate care, to develop quality standards and patient outcome measures and to assess local performance against the agreed, national standards. Identification of potential productivity gains in intermediate care and linked potential cost savings in secondary care are key outputs of the project.
- Disseminating a bedside vision screening tool for nurses as part of work undertaken with NHS England, see: Bedside vision check for falls prevention: assessment tool. This tool allows nurses to undertake a bedside vision assessment for people who have experienced falls. The screening tool promotes appropriate referral and informs the plan of care.