Innovative falls team is launched

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An innovative new service to help reduce the number of High Peak residents ending up in hospital because of falls is being trialled.

The Falls Immediate Response Service Team (FIRST) seeks to build on the success of the Falls Partnership Service which began at the start of the year.

Operating Monday to Saturday between 8am and 6pm, the service is being provided by St John Ambulance in partnership with Derbyshire County Council.

It can be accessed via 999, 111 and by a patient’s GP.

Two vehicles will be available to reach patients within 40 minutes of the initial call.

Where possible, people who have fallen will be treated at home by a team of highly-skilled paramedics, care workers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and other local clinicians. If home treatment is deemed unsuitable, the patient will be transferred to hospital.

Dr Ben Milton, Chair of NHS North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The human cost of falling is substantial and includes pain, injury, loss of confidence and subsequent loss of independence.

“Falls also have a huge financial impact on the NHS, costing more than £2.3bn a year.”