SCIE media statement

Falls and prevention

01 July 2011

New Social Care TV film on early intervention

I can push my hoover around now; I couldn’t before. I used to do it once a week; now I can do it every other day like I used to do it. And these girls here are absolutely brilliant. They always help me as much as they can and I love them to bits.

Mavis, in the Social Care TV film Prevention: Early Intervention.

A new film is being released looking at how falls can cause great anxiety for older people – and how to prevent them happening. The falls prevention scheme shown in the film highlights how a person’s confidence can be boosted and their independence maintained. The film has been made by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE).

The film shows a number of people who describe how they are benefitting from the falls prevention service and related exercise classes. Physiotherapists also work with people to adjust the home environment so that they can achieve improvements, such as being able to wash independently, move around the house safely and reduce anxiety. For some, this means a reduction in the need for ongoing care.

Case study – Cambridgeshire

In the film, Mavis explains how she has been supported to reduce the risk of her falling. It’s important that health and social care services work together to support people like Mavis. With the help of her GP, she sought help from the local community services team.

Mandy Hill is a specialist from Cambridgeshire Falls Prevention Service. She says:

People fall for a variety of reasons. It can be simple environmental factors, for instance, how they can manage to get up their stairs or how they can go out in the garden. A lot of people fall when they are putting their washing out, so it is about teaching and trying to find easier ways for those functional activities to be achieved.

Mandy goes on to say that all her staff work in the community, as well as in the hospital rehab and falls unit. So, she says, their skills are flexible and can be transferred into  community settings. The model can be set up in a sheltered housing complex, in a GP annexe, or in any community centre.

SCIE and prevention

This is SCIE’s second film about prevention. The first looks at Reablement, which concentrates on supporting people to learn – or re-learn – everyday tasks such as washing, cleaning and climbing the stairs, so that they can perform these tasks on their own. SCIE has also Research Briefing on reablement. This examines evidence about the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of this relatively new approach.

SCIE’s Director of Adult Services, David Walden, says:

These two films look at how providing the right support at the right time can help to keep people at home, living as independently as possible. We also know that hospital care is very expensive and not always the best option for older people. So any strategy that helps avoid admissions has to be welcomed; it’s good for the people using the services and can save on valuable resources.

Policy Context

The Dilnot Commission reported in early July, looking at the long-term funding of care in England. SCIE responded to the report by saying that funding issues are important, as is the need for the provision of quality services. It is clear from the report that it is going to be vital that people who use services get good quality information about those services. This area of work will be increasingly important for SCIE, as the organisation will be able to draw on its knowledge, skills and commitment in this area.

Media contact

Steve Palmer | Press and Public Affairs Manager | Tel: 020 7766 7419 | Mob: 07739 458 192 | Email: media@scie.org.uk