Falls prevention

Reducing harm associated with falls

Falls prevention is a complex issue crossing the boundaries of health and social care, public health and accident prevention. The vision of NHS England falls prevention programme is to reduce harm from falls without compromising dignity, independence and rehabilitation.

Inpatient falls are the most commonly reported patient safety incident with over a quarter of a million falls in acute and community hospitals and mental health units in England reported to the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS) annually.

Falls are a major concern for patient safety and a marker of care quality. A significant number of falls result in death or severe or moderate injury, at an estimated cost of £15 million per annum for immediate healthcare treatment alone (NPSA, 2007).

The falls prevention programme aims to reduce harm from falls by:

  • Raising awareness of relevant resources
  • Supporting local leaders and frontline staff to reliably implement best practice
  • Support commissioning bodies to plan and monitor services for safer care
  • Creating a ‘virtuous circle’ of local and national learning from reported falls incidents
  • Developing materials for staff education.