As many of you will know ProFaNE is a member of the NoS and AgeUK Falls and Fracture Alliance and last week the FFA held it's first members meeting to discuss an integrated pathway for Falls and Fractures. The inaugural meeting included representatives from across clinical care, social care and public health.
The meeting commenced with a welcome from Beth Hill, Assistant Director of Commissioning, Age UK and Fizz Thompson, Director of Operations, National Osteoporosis Society.
We heard how the new health system aims to tackle falls and fractures in public health, clinical care and social care. Feedback from the event indicated that people found this session particularly useful. Speakers highlighted the areas in the current Outcomes Frameworks relevant to falls and fractures prevention (summarised by the National Osteoporosis Society, provided to members at the event and circulated electronically). The importance of using these very influential levers to galvanise change locally was stressed.
Before breaking out into groups to discuss falls and fractures pathways, members heard from Raymond Jankowski, NHS Hertfordshire and Opinder Sahota, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, who gave an insight into their regional experiences of integrated falls and fractures services.
This provided a good basis to move on to small group work. During the wide ranging discussions that ensued a number of issues and themes emerged. Here are of some of the most prominent points:
- When should a falls and fractures pathway start and finish?
- At what age is targeted messaging about healthy aging most appropriate?
- At what point should interventions take place?
- What should the scope of a potential falls and fractures pathway be?
- Should it be part of a wider strategy, for example around vulnerable older people or managing long term conditions?
- Or should clear boundaries be set to preserve the pathway’s simplicity?
- A pathway should be clear and simple so that everyone involved, including “Mrs Smith”, can understand and navigate it.
- There should be a single point of contact to:
- Carry out a standardised falls and fractures assessment.
- Triage patients and refer them on to appropriate services.
- Coordinate and monitor patient care.
- Provide information and advice to clinicians and patients.
- It is essential to have at least one member of staff (such as a Fracture Liaison Nurse) to integrate services and improve outcomes.
- Positive language needs to be used to describe healthy aging.
The FFA will explore all the points raised throughout the day and will produce a report for the Alliance’s Executive Board to consider at their next meeting in December and of course we will follow up with news of this as and when it happens.
This report was adapted with kind permission from Edward Smith, Policy Officer for NoS.