Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust has teamed up with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service to support vulnerable people across the district who are at an increased risk of falling.
The trust has begun an 18-month project to train all firefighters across Bradford and Airedale to identify people over 65 who are at risk of falling, as part of routine checks to increase fire safety.
“We are now able to identify vulnerable people which we might not be aware of”
The training will give firefighters the knowledge to identify people who may be at risk of a fall and offer advice to people in their homes to prevent falls from happening, such as moving furniture and rugs which could cause a fall, said the trust.
Those deemed at risk of a fall are then referred by the firefighters to the care trust’s district nursing team to receive the help and support they need.
Rachel Morris, a falls prevention nurse who is delivering the training, said: “Over 25,000 people each year in the Bradford district have at least one fall. Out of this number 578 are admitted to hospital as a result of a hip fracture and 2,600 attend hospital as a result of a fracture.
“By working together with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, we are now able to identify vulnerable people which we might not be aware of and offer help and support to prevent falls which could result in a serious injury or hospital stay,” she said.
The project is based on a successful six-month pilot in Keighley run by the trust with the fire service which saw 80 people undertake a falls screening assessment to identify people at risk of a fall, with 46 referrals made to the district nursing team.