Local Liberal Democrats have warned that the number of hospital admissions due to an older person falling, is set to rise to nearly 1,000 a day across England by the end of the decade.
The worrying forecast, according to data released by the Local Government Association, has prompted renewed calls for more funding for adult social care to invest in cost-effective prevention work to reduce falls, which can have devastating and life-threatening consequences on a person’s health and wellbeing.
New research shows that falls prevention programmes run by councils reduce the number of falls requiring hospital admission by nearly a third (29 per cent). For every £1 spent on preventing falls in the home, £3 is saved in hospital care. Extra government funding for councils to scale up this prevention work to address a rising older population would help the NHS by reducing the need for people to be admitted to hospital after a fall and cut costs to the public purse.
Falls are said to cost the NHS more than £2 billion a year – the amount needed to plug the annual funding gap that councils face in adult social care by 2020. But Government funding restrictions are limiting the work that local councils can do.
Local Liberal Democrats believe many falls can be avoided and are calling for:
– Greater awareness raising among the public around fall prevention
– The Government to fully address the adult social care funding gap, which will reach more than £2 billion by 2020
– Adult social care to be put on an equal footing to the NHS
Latest figures from England in 2016/17, show there were 316,669 hospital admissions of people aged 65 and over due to falling, amounting to two thirds of all fall-related admissions. Around a fifth of these were as a result of slipping, tripping or stumbling.
Data sourced from a Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents’ analysis of Hospital Episode Statistics for England, published by NHS Digital. The figures relate to episodes of admitted patient care under a hospital consultant. More information: Get up and go guide to staying steady