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Nurses and firefighters team up to help older people at risk of falling

Nurses are training firefighters across Bradford and Airedale to identify people over 65 at risk of falling. 
falls

Nurses and firefighters are working together to help vulnerable older people who have an increased risk of falling.

Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust has launched an 18-month project to train all firefighters across Bradford and Airedale to identify people over 65 who are at risk as part of routine fire safety checks.

Following training, firefighters should be able to identify those at risk and offer advice to people in their homes, such as moving furniture and rugs which could cause a fall.

The firefighters then refer those at risk to the trusts district nursing team so they can receive support.

Around 255,000 older people are admitted to hospitals in England because of falls

Nurses and firefighters are working together to help vulnerable older people who have an increased risk of falling.

falls
Front row (left to right): Firefighters Leon Dentico and Neil Rhodes. 
Back row: District nurse team leader Jo Corbett, falls prevention
nurse Rachel Morris and district nurse Jacqueline Critchlow.

Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust has launched an 18-month project to train all firefighters across Bradford and Airedale to identify people over 65 who are at risk as part of routine fire safety checks.

Following training, firefighters should be able to identify those at risk and offer advice to people in their homes, such as moving furniture and rugs which could cause a fall.

The firefighters then refer those at risk to the trust’s district nursing team so they can receive support.

Around 255,000 older people are admitted to hospitals in England because of falls each year.

Pilot project

Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust’s falls prevention nurse Rachel Morris is delivering the training and said: ‘Over 25,000 people each year in the Bradford district have at least one fall. Out of this number 578 are admitted to hospital as a result of a hip fracture and 2,600 attend hospital as a result of a fracture.’

The project is based on a successful six-month pilot in Keighley run by the trust and local fire service. 

Ms Morris added: ‘By working together with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service we are now able to identify vulnerable people who we might not have been aware of and offer help and support to prevent falls which could result in a serious injury or hospital stay.’

In January, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence released guidance stating that district and practice nurses should regularly ask people over 65 if they have had any falls. 


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