In 2017 nearly 12,200 people aged 65 and over living in Herefordshire will experience a fall, with the number expected to rise to over 18,100 by 2035. Falling can result in fracture, admission to hospital, disability, and admission to residential or nursing home, or in some cases death.
Evidence from a recent benchmarking exercise indicates that in Herefordshire, people have acceptable access to falls prevention interventions. The Falls Prevention Service has seen considerable growth in the number of referrals it receives (300 per cent increase between 2012 and 2016), indicating that it is well utilised. The Falls Responder Service in Herefordshire has been in operation since 2014, providing 24/7 non-medical support and referral (if required) for falls at home that do not result in an injury. There is evidence that the service could be better utilised, with an indication that some of the callouts made by West Midlands Ambulance Service could be attended by a falls responder instead; actions are being taken to address this missed opportunity.
Falls are common in residential and nursing home settings. Systematic recording of falls occurring in these settings would be helpful in order to develop more effective prevention strategies.
NHS RightCare has identified that in Herefordshire a considerably smaller proportion of people aged 75 and over presenting with fragility fractures are treated with a bone sparing agent (a treatment for osteoporosis) compared to other clinical commissioning groups, suggesting that there is an opportunity to improve outcomes for people with osteoporosis by enhancing treatment coverage.
Physical and psychological consequences of a fall.
Source: Managing Falls and Fractures in Care Homes for Older People – good practice resource: Revised edition. NHS Scotland; Care Inspectorate, 2016. Available at:
 Commissioning for Value Where to Look pack: NHS Herefordshire CCG January 2017, NHS RightCare, 2017. Available at: https://www.england.nhs.uk/rightcare/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2017/01/cfv-herefordshire-jan17.pdf
Last updated: Thursday, August 23, 2018