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Consultation on falls prevention in older people

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NICE have set out key priorities for consultation to prevent further injury in older patients who have had a fall.

Almost a third of adults over 65 and living at home will experience at least one fall a year. Approximately five per cent of older people living in the community will fall resulting in fracture or hospitalisation.

In this new draft quality standard, NICE has set out priorities that will ensure that older people who fall are thoroughly assessed and offered support to prevent further falls.

The standard includes four statements, which are open for public consultation. These include ensuring that nurses who see older people who have fallen refer them for specialist assessment to identify factors that could lead to another fall and how future falls can be avoided. The consultation will also cover ensuring that older people are referred to specialists who can help them to start exercise and build up muscle strength and improve balance.

Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive and director of health and social care at NICE, said: 'This quality standard will help nurses, doctors and community healthcare providers who are committed to the NHS's Sign up to Safety pledge to deliver harm free care for every patient. If we can reduce the recurrence of falls, people not only get safer care but it could also help achieve cost savings for the NHS.'

The draft quality standard is open for public consultation until Wednesday 3 December. Statements may change after consultation with stakeholders.

Registered stakeholders (such as professional and government associations , patient and carer groups and companies) can register at any time between now and the closing date to submit their comments. Individuals are advised to pass comments through the registered stakeholder that most closely represents them.

The final standard is expected to be released in May 2015.

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