Public Health England has published a report produced by the National Falls Prevention Coordination Group (NFPCG). The NFPCG is made up of organisations involved in the prevention of falls, care for falls-related injuries and the promotion of healthy ageing.
The guidance is aimed at local commissioning and strategic leads in England with a remit for falls, bone health and healthy ageing.
At the first NFPCG meeting in July 2016, it was agreed that the range of different professions and providers carrying out falls and fracture prevention activities, and the different ways of resourcing these, created the need for a consensus on ways to support and encourage ‘whole-system’ local commissioning. This document outlines interventions and approaches that the group recommends commissioners and strategic leads in local areas consider, and details the activities that NFPCG members have committed to take in order to support effective commissioning and provision.
The intended audience for this document is those local commissioning and strategic leads in England with a remit for falls, bone health and healthy ageing. Following publication, the NFPCG intend to initiate a programme of work to support local commissioning activity which will be underpinned by the commitments outlined in this document.
In the foreword, Professor Martin J Vernon, National Clinical Director for Older People,said: The number of people aged 65 and over is projected to rise by over 40% in the next 17 years to more than 16 million. Thirty percent of people aged 65 and over will fall at least once a year. For those aged 80 and over it is 50%. 2 A fall can lead to pain, distress, loss of confidence and lost independence. In around 5% of cases a fall leads to fracture and hospitalisation. Given this situation, it is not a day too soon that we are publishing a consensus statement on actions and priorities that will encourage and support the commissioning of services which reduce risk of falls and fragility fracture.
"Effective, planned, evidence based approaches to falls and fracture risk reduction are of key importance to the health and wellbeing of people living in our communities and those that care for them. The routine identification of those most vulnerable to falling will allow us to target those interventions at individuals which confer the best chances of avoiding injury and its potentially catastrophic consequences. The challenge for us all is to collectively commit to supporting and encouraging effective commissioning and the spreading of good practice so that every older person, whatever their background, wherever they live, is provided with the best opportunity to live and age well without fear of falling and injury."