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Call for improved communication to improve falls services

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A survey of falls prevention services has found the majority of users are happy with the care they received but improvements can still be made.

Three-quarters of those questioned in the Royal College of Physicians survey said they were satisfied with the services they had received to minimise the risk of injury through suffering a fall.

The remaining 24% of those who said they were not happy with falls prevention services in their area blamed poor communication between patients and healthcare providers, and criticised the lack of evidence-based exercise programmes that are included in treatment and prevention plans.

Falls prevention services provide tailored assessment, advice and treatment programmes for elderly patients who are most at risk of suffering life-threatening injuries because of a fall.

A raft of recommendations have been proposed following the survey, including improved communication throughout a patients’ treatment plan; more consideration for individual needs at each stage of the programme, and more information about specific exercise plans designed to reduce the risk of patients sustaining a fall in the first place.

Jackie Riglin MCSP, falls prevention coordinator said: “I hope that both service providers and commissioners will take on board the recommendations around communication and provision of local, long term, evidence-based exercise interventions.”

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