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Introduction – Ten Steps to a Successful Exercise Pathway within Falls Services

Ten Steps to a Successful Exercise Pathway within Falls ServicesSetting up a Falls Service is a complex and challenging task; maintaining a successful programme involves marketing, coordination, assessments, quality assurance, logistics, monitoring and communication. This series of articles looks at some practical advice on how to best set up an exercise services within a falls prevention service and includes two models of falls prevention exercise services based in the UK as examples of good practice.

Written by Dr Dawn Skelton, Reader in Ageing and Health, Glasgow Caledonian University, these articles distill years of experience in both research and also implementation. Dawn has worked within a falls exercise service, has evaluated the largest falls service in the UK in Glasgow and has years of experience training specialist falls prevention exercise instructors. Although many of the examples within these articles are based on work in the UK, the principles should apply wherever you hope to set up an effective falls exercise service.


  1. “Selling” your Exercise Service
  2. Integrated Entry Point into the Classes
  3. Pre-exercise Assessment
  4. Evidence Based Opportunities and Choice
  5. Quality Assurance and Fidelity
  6. Transport Issues
  7. Support Strategies to Maintain Adherence
  8. Evaluation and Monitoring of Progress
  9. Exit Strategy into a Self-directed Active Lifestyle
  10. Communication – All Speaking the Same Language


Two examples of existing service models to help you plan your falls service:

Example of Successful Falls Exercise Services - Cambridgeshire 2009

Example of Successful Falls Exercise Services - Glasgow 2008

Both of these models were selected to be used in the Department of Health’s Prevention Package and were submitted in early 2009 so they will be slightly out of date.

We hope you enjoy the advice for a successful falls exercise service and wish you all the very best in your endeavours. We would very much like to keep these articles up to date, so if you have any questions or anything to share that would help, log in and add your comments. We look forward to hearing from you.

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