Falls assessment and prevention in older people: an evaluation of the Crisis Response Service

The elderly population of the world is growing, with increasing trends of older people falling and accessing emergency services. The Crisis Response Falls Service in Northamptonshire (UK) was designed to identify health and social care needs, promote independence and limit the impact of falls. This paper presents the findings of an evaluation of the service. A mixed-method approach was applied, drawing on the views of service users (via a survey and telephone interviews) and reviewing existing East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EMAS) data with routinely collected data from the service.A decrease in the numbers of patients conveyed to hospital following a fall was observed. Best estimates of financial calculations suggest savings. High levels of patient satisfaction were achieved; patients felt treated with dignity and staff were considered friendly, approachable and well-informed. First responder services can provide positive impacts for those who fall in the community. The development and impact of the CRS shows the importance of evidence-based client centred training to inform the approaches taken to supporting those who fall, and the impact of a strong values based approach on the experiences of patients.

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