The big idea
No other single cause of injury, including road trauma, costs the health system more than falls.
More than one in three people aged 65 or over fall at least once a year and many fall more often. Falls are even more common among residents of aged care facilities and fall incidents in hospital are high.
The Clinical Excellence Commission (CEC), NSW Falls Prevention Program, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MoH), the Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI), Ambulance NSW and local health districts (LHDs) seeks to promote a comprehensive, systemic approach to falls prevention and to reducing fall injury within NSW.
In line with the NSW Health policy Prevention of Falls and Harm from Falls among Older People 2011 – 2015, the NSW Falls Prevention Program aims to:
- Reduce the incidence and severity of falls
- Reduce the social, psychological and economic impact of falls among older people, families and carers.
The key drivers of the NSW Falls Prevention Program are:
- Implementation of the Australian Commission on Quality and Safety in Health Care (ACSQHC) 2009, Falls Best Practice Guidelines for Hospital, Community Care and Residential Care
- The ACSQHC National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (NSQHSS): Standard 10 Preventing Falls and Harm from Falls.
- NSW Government Healthy Ageing Strategy.
The framework to progress the implementation includes:
- Statewide leadership, co-ordination and collaboration
- LHDs Falls Co-ordinator collaborative to support the implementation of LHD falls plans
- NSW Falls Prevention Network to disseminate and promote research, share falls prevention knowledge, expertise and resources through forums and meetings.
The NSW Falls Policy PD2011_029: Prevention of Falls and Harm from Falls among Older People 2011 -2015, was released in May 2011.
The CEC, in conjunction with the NSW MoH and ACI leads work in clinical settings. Falls are one of the largest causes of harm in health care and are a national safety and quality priority.
The National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards – Standard 10 Preventing Falls and Harm from Falls was introduced nationally from 1 January 2013. The intention of this Standard is to reduce the incidence of patient falls and minimise harm from falls.
Leader, NSW Falls Prevention Program
Clinical Excellence Commission
(02) 6656 5326