In 2011 Northamptonshire County Council and East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust set up a service to treat people who have suffered a fall and help them to avoid another accident.
The Crisis Response Falls Team was launched to respond to the fact that falls at home, especially those involving frail older people, account for a large proportion of EMS’ calls. Nationally, around 30 percent of adults who are over 65 and living at home will experience at least one fall a year. This rises to 50 percent of adults over 80 who are either at home or in residential care.
Changes in social demographics is seeing a trend towards more people with higher degrees of dementia and because they are fragile and often more agitated, results in more frequent falls both at
home and in a residential care setting. The service recognises that although distressing, most falls are not life-threatening and by dedicating resources to helping these patients we can ensure
other crews are free to deal with emergencies. The Crisis Response Falls Team developed extra skills in treating patients who have fallen and invested in two specialist falls ambulances with Mangar ELK lifting equipment to aid patients.
To date, the service has helped more than 700 patients, allowed more people to be treated in their comfort of their home and reduced repeat falls. In 2012 the service delivered a 5 percent reduction in
repeat falls when compared to 2011. The scheme makes a real difference, especially to vulnerable older people who prefer to remain independent and safe in their own homes after a fall, rather than having the stress of going to hospital unnecessarily.