Report finds major gaps in NHS provision of falls care

NHS services for the prevention and care of falls and fracture are 'inadequate' and routinely fail to deliver satisfactory care, a report has shown.

Falls: therapeutic exercise is the key to prevention (Photograph: SPL)
Falls: therapeutic exercise is the key to prevention (Photograph: SPL)

The audit, commissioned by health watchdog the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP), found a 'major gap' between NHS organisations' commissioning plans and the care received by patients.

Just 37 per cent of local health services provided a fracture liaison service, seen as the best way to prevent future fractures. Only 33 per cent of non-hip fracture and 60 per cent of hip fracture patients received appropriate care for osteoporosis.

The report urged local NHS services to commission a fracture liaison service and ensure adequate falls prevention programmes.

Care home residents should receive regular medication reviews, including treatment of osteoporosis, and access to therapeutic exercise for falls prevention.

Dr Jonathan Potter, clinical director of the Royal College of Physicians, which wrote the report, said: 'Once again it is starkly apparent that what organisations say they provide is not matched by what people receive.'

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