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University led care home study cuts falls by 43%

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New guidelines developed in a study led by Nottingham University led to a 43% drop in the rate of care home falls.

The ‘Guide to Action to prevent Falls in Care Home’ (GtACH) programme, which was designed by a collaborative group including care home staff, and families, was implemented across 84 care homes in 11 different areas of England and included over 1,600 residents over a three-year period.

Experts at the university in collaboration with care home staff and residents devised a set of guidelines in the form of a 33 point checklist with a list of 33 associated actions that care home staff can use to reduce the risk of falls among their residents.

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The programme includes one hour of training for all care home staff (including gardeners, caretakers, cooks, cleaners, managers) in small groups, delivered by a falls specialist. A manual summarising the GtACH programme is left in the home after training and includes resources such as a falls incident chart (to detect patterns) and a medication falls risk chart. Once trained, staff are expected to use the GtACH risk assessment and guide to action checklist with all residents.

Victoria Rayner, CEO of the National Care Forum, said: “Preventing falls is one of the key priorities within all care homes. This research will support managers and staff to work with people receiving care and support to minimise the risk of falls, whilst continuing to prioritise activity and independence.

“The timing of this could not be better, as it coincides with the publication of the Government White Paper on Adult Social Care reform, People at the Heart of Care. The White Paper incorporates a strong focus on reducing falls, and this research will ensure that care providers can have immediate access to support this aim, using resources produced through research carried out in partnership with care home managers.”

Tags : falls reductionResearch
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The author Lee Peart

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