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Can Fire and Rescue Services and the National Health Service work together to improve the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable older people? Design of a proof of concept study

Lowton, K., Laybourne, A. H., Whiting, D. G. and Martin, F. C. (2010). Can Fire and Rescue Services and the National Health Service work together to improve the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable older people? Design of a proof of concept study. BMC Health Services Research, 10, 327 - ?. doi: 10.1186/1472-6963-10-327

Abstract

Older adults are at increased risk both of falling and of experiencing accidental domestic fire. In addition to advanced age, these adverse events share the risk factors of balance or mobility problems, cognitive impairment and socioeconomic deprivation. For both events, the consequences include significant injury and death, and considerable socioeconomic costs for the individual and informal carers, as well as for emergency services, health and social care agencies.Secondary prevention services for older people who have fallen or who are identifiable as being at high risk of falling include NHS Falls clinics, where a multidisciplinary team offers an individualised multifactorial targeted intervention including strength and balance exercise programmes, medication changes and home hazard modification. A similar preventative approach is employed by most Fire and Rescue Services who conduct Home Fire Safety Visits to assess and, if necessary, remedy domestic fire risk, fit free smoke alarms with instruction for use and maintenance, and plan an escape route. We propose that the similarity of population at risk, location, specific risk factors and the commonality of preventative approaches employed could offer net gains in terms of feasibility, effectiveness and acceptability if activities within these two preventative approaches were to be combined.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Accidental Falls, Adult, Aged, Cooperative Behavior, Fires, Health Services for the Aged, House Calls, Humans, Incidence, Independent Living, Linear Models, London, National Health Programs, Preventive Health Services, Prospective Studies, Rescue Work, Risk Assessment, Safety Management, State Medicine, Vulnerable Populations
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Departments: School of Health Sciences > Nursing
Related URLs:
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/5215
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