This project consisted of three fit4falls conferences across the system including students at the University of Lincoln, local health and social care providers and social enterprise.
Aims and objectives
A multi-agency learning event which included an exhibition of local providers who supported those patients at risk of falls.
These events were organised by the Clinical Practice Educators at Lincolnshire Community Health Services in collaboration with St Barnabas Hospice and Lincoln University.
The aim was to promote best practice in falls prevention and promoting and reduce risk to future falls.
Our objectives included showing our attendees:
- How to use proactive approaches to preventing falls
- How to assess falls risk
-What outcome measures are used in falls prevention
- How simple exercises can be used to prevent falls
- Fragility Fractures and falls
- The definition and impact of osteoporosis (in relation to fragility and falls)
- About continence (in relation to fragility and falls)
- How frailty can be identified and assessed
- What an emergency response to the fallen patient in the community looks like
Reasons for implementing your project
The project initially started following an incident with a student nurse and a patient whilst on placement. This led to an investigation where it was identified that both the pre-registration learning preparation regarding falls on both the nursing and physio courses was poor and that staff in the community were not appropriately addressing falls risks.
This project initially was for the university but due to success if was rolled out to the wider health and social care community within Lincolnshire.
In total 190 participants attended one of the three conferences.
How did you implement the project
NICE guidance was used to base the teaching element of the sessions with evidence-based research on falls. Best practice from professional bodies was also incorporated into these sessions.
A mix of practical and taught sessions were used throughout the day to ensure that participants understood and learnt from the event and were asked to identify how their practice would change when they return to patient contact.
Local falls prevention services were invited to the day to promote their own individual influence on falls outcomes including, tele-care, fire and rescue, neighbourhood teams, research and continence.
We evaluated the three sessions as a team with our partners and identified that the sessions were overall a success, however the below themes would need consideration:
Tech – CPE’s to ensure that all tech requirements are in place and that PowerPoints and videos in a format suitable for the location.
Venue – Available and suitable venues for no cost were difficult to locate.
Attendance – The conference was originally targeted at LCHS staff but due to lack of nominations this was opened to others, but the presentations were not amended or reviewed.
Marketing promotion internal/external – To consider how we promote events and ensure earlier notice or save dates go to staff and managers.
Evaluation – Although Survey monkey was used but poor return rates, to consider on the day feedback to increase responses.
What next - CPE’s to consider strategic plan and topics and themes for potential next sessions.
Key learning points
Evaluation of the days was completed via survey monkey.
The anonymous quotations below represent the information we received on how the day would impact on the attendees’ practice:
“(I learnt) how to assess someone's likelihood to fall and about the testing for frailty”
“(I feel more confident about) assessing falls, and who I need to involve and refer to”
“The palliative care info was very informative”
“(The training got me) thinking more of the issues surrounding frailty as well as the consequences of falls”
“(The training increased my) falls referrals knowledge”
“(I learnt) some of the physical assessments and how I can use my knowledge with my own family
“The training gave me a general overview of frailty. Only some of the sessions were specific to falls. It was these sessions I found most useful.”
“(The training helped me) underpinning knowledge as part of moving and handling training
“I’m more informed as I felt inexperienced”
“(I learnt about) polypharmacy…and environmental issues when considering falls”
“I discovered the importance of the Edmonton Assessment. (I gained) some knowledge of polypharmacy, although was a little disappointed the speaker for that did not attend my session. (As a result of the training) I will introduce the Get up and Go brochure to colleagues and patients.”
“(I gained) knowledge about providers of life line services, welfare calls. (The) Neighbourhood team information (was) very relevant”
“(As a result of the training) I gained more knowledge of palliative care and the help out there”
All these comments reflected elements of the NICE guidance.
From an education team this allowed us to form better relations with our partners and the move towards integrated working.