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No other single cause of injury, including road trauma, costs the health system more than falls. In NSW each year, falls lead to approximately 27,000 hospitalisations and more than 400 deaths.
More than one in three people aged 65 or over fall at least once a year and many fall more often. Falls are even more common among residents of aged care facilities and the number of falls-related incidents in hospital are high.
There has been extensive research demonstrating that many falls among older people can be prevented.
The Falls Prevention Program aims to reduce the incidence and severity of falls among older people and reduce the social, psychological and economic impact of falls on individuals, families and the community. It provides Statewide leadership, co-ordination and collaboration and provides resources and support for the implementation of local health districts and networks falls prevention plans.
The program supports the implementation of the NSW Health Policy PD2011_029 Prevention of Falls and Harm from Falls Among Older People, as well as the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care's Falls Best Practice Guidelines for Hospital, Community Care and Residential Care. The resources also assist facilities to meet the requirements outlined in the Australian Commission's National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards.
- ACSQHC 2009 Falls Best Practice Guidelines for Hospital, Community Care and Residential Care
- ACSQHC National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards: Standard 10 Falls pg 66
NSW Falls Prevention Network
The CEC also provides leadership for the NSW Falls Prevention Network, in order to disseminate and promote research, share falls prevention knowledge, expertise and resources through forums and meetings. The Falls Prevention Network website includes a number of resources for those working in the hospital, community and residential aged care sectors.
The Program works in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the Agency for Clinical Innovation, Ambulance NSW and local health districts to promote a comprehensive, systemic approach to falls prevention and to reducing fall injury within NSW.