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Falls service saves £120k in seven weeks


10 February 2014

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A new service that treats people at home when they fall over has kept two thirds of its patients out of hospital, saving the clinical commissioning group £120,000 in seven weeks. 
Of the 73 patients referred to the Falls Partnership Service in North Derbyshire during its first seven weeks, 42 (or 66%) did not have to go to hospital. 
The reduction in avoidable hospital admissions saved £119,700, or 24% of the expected annual running costs of the service funded by Hardwick and North Derbyshire CCGs.

A new service that treats people at home when they fall over has kept two thirds of its patients out of hospital, saving the clinical commissioning group £120,000 in seven weeks. 
Of the 73 patients referred to the Falls Partnership Service in North Derbyshire during its first seven weeks, 42 (or 66%) did not have to go to hospital. 
The reduction in avoidable hospital admissions saved £119,700, or 24% of the expected annual running costs of the service funded by Hardwick and North Derbyshire CCGs.
The CCGs believe the service will pay for itself around one and a half times in the current financial year and will soon become busier as it has started taking 999 calls. 
The service operates Monday to Saturday between 6.30am and 6.30pm, and is a partnership between Derbyshire Community Health Services (DCHS) NHS Trust, East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust and Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. 
Where possible, people who have fallen are treated at home by an integrated team of  paramedics, occupational therapists and physiotherapists with the support of a consultant geriatrician. 
People can access the service via 999, 111, the out-of-hours GP service provided by Derbyshire Health United, and the Community Careline Service. 
Dr Ben Milton, chair of NHS North Derbyshire CCG, said: “The falls partnership service is a shining example of health services working together smartly to provide first-class community care while achieving important efficiencies in these economically challenging times. 
“Not only does the service provide rapid home treatment, it also reduces the risk of future falls by advising patients and their carers on making changes around the house. In fact, every patient seen so far has had a home environment assessment carried out.” 
Falls are the most common cause of emergency hospital admission for the 100,000 plus patients served by NHS Hardwick CCG. In the year to last April, 1,995 Hardwick patients were admitted to hospital following a fall. Of these, 128 (or six per cent) had suffered a fractured neck or femur. 
Falls cost the NHS more than £2.3 billion per year and also have traumatic effects such as distress, loss of confidence and sometimes death for those who suffer them.

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