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Improving the care of older people who fall

Elderly couple

Senior Research Fellow, Dr Mary Halter, is contributing to the national SAFER 2 Study, focusing on falls in older people. Emergency 999 calls for this group accounted for eight per cent of the total ambulance response in one year in London and 40 per cent of these were not taken to hospital. This group is also at high risk for further falls and injuries.

This study is assessing the benefits and costs for patients and the NHS of new protocols allowing paramedics to assess and refer older people who have fallen to community based care. Funded by the NIHR Health Technology Assessment programme, the team of researchers are gathering in-depth information from patients, carers and health care providers – including paramedics, ambulance service managers, and falls service staff – about how the new service works, and about any factors which encourage or hinder its use.