The ‘Steady on!’ falls prevention service which is run by Better Care Together partners; Blackpool NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Lancashire North Clinical Commissioning Group and Lancashire County Council has been recognised nationally as a primary falls prevention system.
The overall aim of ‘STEADY On!’ is to keep people independent, safe and steady whilst also preventing hospital admissions due to preventable falls.
Adam Whittingham, Community Therapy Technician, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “This is a great NHS service aiming to keep people safe at home by giving simple, easy to follow advice and support.”
The service is for anyone over the age of 55 who is at risk of falling or those who have experienced a fall and want to reduce the likelihood of another fall.
This initiative which is being carried out across North Lancashire takes and inspiration from the work of Yvonne Skellern-Foster in East Lancashire NHS Trust who said: “The ‘STEADY On!” initiative is about people being able to access falls prevention services in their own area so that they know what they can do for themselves to prevent a fall instead of reaching a crisis point.”
As well as giving practical tips on how to prevent falls the project can also improve general health and wellbeing and enable people to continue to carry out day to day activities.
The ‘STEADY On!’ team host regular events in community ‘hot spots’ such as local supermarkets to engage with the public and promote the service. The events are a good opportunity to make contact, share advice and sign post local people to other community groups such as exercise classes to improve balance.
Linda Hilton, Community Therapy Technician, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “Events allow us to plant the seed. A lot of people don’t think about falls until an accident has happened. We want to get in there early and give people prevention advice.”
The events give people practical help for example having the ferrules on walking sticks replaced to ensure that they are safe and meet recommended standards. Other resources are also distributed including leaflets on ‘how to fall proof your home’.
Where appropriate the ‘Steady on!’ team use the events to arrange home visits where they can carry out a falls risk assessment and look into whether further clinical support is needed.
People can refer themselves onto the programme by completing a referral form or calling the team directly. Health care professionals can also refer people to the service on their behalf.
If you think the ‘STEADY On!’ initiative could benefit you please get in touch with the team by calling: 01524 519553.