How we respond to Falls

Falls are not an inevitable part of ageing... This is Bill's story. It shows how people can be supported at home following a fall. Can you reduce the risk of falling? Yes. Assess your own risk of falling and make a personalised falls prevention plan; you can join in with Bill's Otago class too!

1 in 3 people over the age of 65 experiences a fall at least once a year and it is the most common reason for an ambulance to be called to an older person.

When calling 999 after a fall there are options that will be offered.

    1. If the person who has fallen is in significant pain and /or bleeding excessively then a blue light response ambulance will be dispatched to that person.
    2. If the call handler taking the call determines more details about the fall would help allocate the most suitable response, then the call will be put through to either a Clinical Advisor (paramedic) or Advanced Paramedic. They will then ask questions to help determine the most appropriate help required. They can even view you and any injuries if someone has a mobile phone (Good SAM).

If it is safe to remain at home community services can be arranged to follow up at home. Some examples of these services could include rehabilitation at home from physiotherapists and occupational therapists. Assessment of the home for aids and adaptations to prevent further falls and maintain independence. It could also mean appointments being offered to attend for check x rays / examinations ,without long waits in A&E.

    1. If the fall has not caused any harm or injury , the community alarm services can respond quickly to provide assistance off the floor.

This responds The Scottish Ambulance Service aims to provide patients with, the best and most appropriate care in the most appropriate place. This relates to the changes in population demands and evolution of health services to support this. It is now recognized that an unnecessary admission to A&E and / or hospital can have detrimental impact on a person’s independent living skills. There is also evidence where some has cognitive decline eg dementia, these experiences can be very distressing and can intensify symptoms of the disease.

Therefore in cases where someone has fallen at home we want to offer the most appropriate resources which can often not be only A&E. We aim to also offer advice and direction to prevent any further falls or injury.

NHS Inform has lots of useful information about falls, how to recover from and prevent falls.

Falls Assistant

Up and About - Taking positive steps to avoid trips and falls

Find Technology Enabled Care in your area

As well as treating a person for a fall, it is important that we find ways to minimise the risk of a fall again.  For this reason, we will refer patients who have had a fall to relevant agency in their area.  These agencies can look at ways to reduce falls including fitting handrails and bed rails, providing walking aids and arranging physiotherapy and occupational therapy.