NHS England and the Health Foundation are working on a joint initiative which has shown that more than 40% of emergency admissions involving elderly residents could be avoided.
These results were found whilst the NHS rolled out their Enhanced Health in Care Homes (EHCH) project which aims to improve resident’s wellbeing and avoid unnecessary emergency admissions.
It is believed that by re-educating care home staff and improving the working relationship with GPs this would help to decrease the number of admissions.
Elderly falls are a common and serious problem for the elderly, and it is estimated 1,000 people living in a care facility will fall every day. Balance impairment and frailty, often connected to a dementia diagnosis, makes frequent falls more likely.
Pressurised ambulance trusts are continually put into the position of needing to classify incoming calls from uninjured residents in care homes as low priority. This means residents are frequently left on the floor for long periods of time, which heightens the risk of complications such as hypothermia, pressure ulcers, and kidney failure.
The severe complications of long-lie results in an emergency admission to hospital which could have been avoided if the resident had been assessed and safely lifted from the floor. Once in hospital, the added complication of deconditioning can make returning home far more difficult.
Mangar Health has been working closely with the Welsh Ambulance Service and the West Midlands Ambulance Service to launch a free interactive post falls assessment tool.
The ISTUMBLE App was launched to support nursing staff to be able to safely assess a fallen resident and make an informed decision whether they can lift the faller themselves with the appropriate lifting equipment.
Wendy Preston, RCN Head of Nursing Practice, said: “Nursing staff in care homes want more than anyone to try and prevent the residents they care for from being admitted to hospital as emergencies.
Hospital is not the best place for most frail elderly people and nurses are often the solution to this problem despite services not always receiving the correct funding.”
By decreasing the amount of time a fallen resident is on the floor, the more likely they will stay uninjured and be able to continue with their everyday routine.
If you’re interested in finding out more information about the project Mangar Health have been working on to safeguard and improve the lives of residents and healthcare workers, please visit our #UpLiftingCare Campaign page by clicking here.
If you would like to download the free post falls assessment tool, please visit the Apple Store or Google Play Store and search for ‘ISTUMBLE’.
To access the “IStumble” App in the Apple Store CLICK HERE
To access the “IStumble” App in the Google Play Store CLICK HERE