Managing the Fallen Uninjured Person

What was the issue you were addressing or working on?

The negotiation of each organisation’s contribution to making the pathway work. Developing a pathway that is easy to access and offers the fallen person timely assistance. Promoting and embedding the pathway across all organisations.

What you did?

Organisations (Emergency Services, NHS Lothian, NHS 24, and Community Alarm & Telecare Services) met to discuss how a pathway might work, how it could be accessed, how it could be funded and whether the new service would meet the demand.  We asked staff within organisations to work differently with older people unknown to their service.  We negotiated with staff, learning from other falls services (Fife) and how they provided the service.

Additional funding from the CHP allowed the Community Alarm and Telecare Service to develop their service to meet the need.

What were the outcomes - benefits or otherwise?

In instances where the Fire and Rescue Service had to respond to a fall, an entire unit plus crew are called out at great expense. Where the emergency ambulance service was called out, 80% of patients were conveyed to hospital. Older people are now able to remain at home and unnecessary conveyance to hospital is prevented. Individuals are referred for a telecare package and further falls assessment as required.

Approximately 20-25 people per month are assisted by the Response Service: average response time is 30 minutes.

This type of service development requires regular partnership working to develop strong links and maintain ongoing communication.  This ensures that when issues arise they are dealt with promptly and therefore staff experiencing the pathway for the first time develop confidence in using it.

Contacts - to find out more

Kirstin James, Falls Co-ordinator, Edinburgh CHP