Still no National Falls Strategy 18 months after Parliament vote

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has reiterated his call for a National Falls Strategy after new data showed 42% of patients do not return home within 30 days of their hip fracture.

He said people can be left “trapped” in hospitals following hip fracture incidents and highlighted that the Scottish Government has yet to produce a National Falls Strategy despite the outcome of a parliamentary vote in March 2017.

The Audit also reports that hip fractures are usually due to a fall and that those affected are often frail and elderly. Complications from surgery and/or the injury can be associated with increased length of stay in hospital, admission to care homes and mortality.

Alex Cole-Hamilton said:

“These statistics show how a fall can lead to people being in hospital for long periods and have devastating implications for their ability to live independently.

“Even the fear of falling is a daily worry for thousands of elderly Scots. It leads to more people spending time at home and becoming isolated and lonely.

“It has been 18 months since Parliament agreed Scotland needs a National Falls Strategy, spurred on by the NHS and social care system struggling to cope with our ageing population. We need to build on the back of the 2014 falls framework which focused primarily on healthcare settings, and produce a strategy to reduce falls in homes and in our communities.

“Ministers have a duty to get on and produce a strategy because falls and the resulting injuries, including hip fractures, can be prevented.”

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