Pilot scheme aims to help people who have fallen and prevent it happening in the future
A pilot to help patients who have suffered a fall in Norfolk has been launched.
Two early intervention vehicles are being run by the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) with Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust (NCH&C) and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH).
The vehicles are staffed by a senior emergency medical technician (EMT) from the ambulance service and an occupational therapist. They assess patients at the scene and if they do not need hospital care, the patient will be given the help and support to help avoid falls in the future.
In December alone, EEAST received 305 calls in north Norfolk to patients who had fallen and 362 in south Norfolk.
Emergency Medical Technician Michael Hall and Clinical Lead Occupational Therapist Helen Nku were the first to crew the vehicle when it went live on Thursday (12th January), and six patients were seen over the course of three days. The pilot will work alongside existing services for patients who need urgent support at home, such as Norfolk County Council’s Swift Response service, which provides help and support for people who have experienced a fall but don’t need emergency services or admission to a hospital.
Diane Chan, Senior Locality Manager at EEAST, said the pilot fit the NHS sustainability and transformation plans to work in a more integrated way to improve patient outcomes: “Falls are one of our most common types of call. This project puts an alternative pathway in place so that patients can stay at home by putting preventative measures in place to reduce avoidable Emergency Department (ED) admissions and helps to keep a patient at home where they feel comfortable. It aims to reduce the amount of times a patient falls and reduce the pressure on ED.”
Anna Morgan, Director of Nursing and Quality for NCH&C, said: “This is another great example of how working together in an integrated way will deliver health and social care services that work more efficiently, putting people at the very heart of treatment decisions.
“Not only does it ensure that patients can receive more treatment in their communities where we know they are more comfortable, but it also reduces demand for acute hospital usage by reducing avoidable admissions, lengths of stay and delayed discharges.”
Antek Lejk, Chief Officer of NHS North Norfolk and South Norfolk clinical commissioning groups, said: “We are keen to see the impact the project has on patients living in North and South Norfolk - EEAST and NCH&C working collaboratively in developing and delivering this pilot is an example of the continued need for integrated solutions to patient’s needs.”
Six ambulance EMTs received refresher training to treat older and frail patients before the early intervention falls vehicles went live as part of a three-month pilot.