NICE endorses new Falls Risk Assessment Toolkit

NICE has endorsed a new Falls Risk Assessment Toolkit developed by the Centre for Medicines Optimisation at Keele University with Walsall CCG. The toolkit identifies patients who are at risk of falls and potential hospitalisation. It is available to all UK healthcare professionals and can be downloaded free as an EMIS web protocol and template.

The toolkit supports NICE recommendations around preventing falls and multifactorial risk assessment. Features include:

  • Search criteria incorporating read codes consistent with predictors of falls risk, and high-risk psychotropic medicines that can contribute to falls
  • Helps patients over the age of 65 who may benefit from a medication review, falls assessment and signposting to local falls prevention services
  • Prompt background alerts to systematically identify patients who are at risk
  • Fully compatible with EMIS Web clinical system.

Professor Stephen Chapman from the Centre for Medicines Optimisation at Keele University said: “Falls are the largest cause of emergency hospital admissions for older people in the UK and are estimated to cost the NHS more than £2 billion per year. However, many falls are preventable. Removing hazards, addressing deterioration in muscle strength, balance and vision, and a medication review of psychotropic medicines will all reduce a person’s risk of falling.”

Bharat Patel, who help to develop the toolkit, said: “The Falls Risk Assessment Toolkit is designed to be simple and easy-to-use. In practice, the whole healthcare team can proactively implement a review process whereby vulnerable patients can be identified, receive appropriate care and thus reduce their risk of falling.“

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