A more integrated approach to preventing falls could cut incidents by up to 30 per cent, saving money and bed days, a report from the NHS Confederation has found.
Falls and fractures in patients aged over-65s account for four million hospital bed days each year in England, costing an estimated £2bn annually.
The report highlights examples of good practice from around the country, such as community exercise programmes for older people in Buckingham and Southampton which have been linked with reductions in falls locally, to call for a greater national push to reduce falls.
In the North East, a partnership between North East Ambulance Service Foundation Trust and Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals Foundation Trust reduced the number of fall-related 999 calls fell by 75 per cent between 2006 and 2011 by referring first time fallers to appropriate follow up services.
The report recommends an increased focus on whole system working with improved data sharing between organisations and suggests a falls indicator be included in commissioning for quality and innovation payment.
Ambulance Service Network director Jo Webber said: “Falls are not only physically debilitating but, particularly for older people, they really knock their confidence and can slow recovery.
“We have to take the opportunity of the NHS reforms to get organisations across health, social care and local authorities working together.
“Effective falls services that are already up and running across the country show that for little initial investment patients are getting better care, more falls are being prevented and money is being saved.”