2022 North East and Yorkshire Social Care Falls Conference – a case study


‘Together: Taking Steps to prevent falls; a learning event for all in social care’

“The power of a conversation”

Falls are a common and serious health issue for older people, with around a third of all people aged 65 and over falling each year, increasing to half of those aged 80 and over. In around 5% of cases a fall leads to fracture and hospitalisation, which is costly for health services and the wider economy. Falls can be distressing for patients and their carers. There are around 255,000 falls-related emergency hospital admissions in England among patients aged 65 and over each year, and it is estimated that fragility fractures cost the UK around £4.4 billion, of which 25% is for social care. So preventing falls is therefore important for the health and wellbeing of older people and those that care for them, as well as the future of our health and social care services.

Sarah Monks (Ageing Well Lead) and Alison Iliff (Health & Wellbeing Programme Lead NE&Y) met and in Sarah’s own words, were “trying to fix the world and by the end of the conversation we said we should pull everyone together over falls, across the region, create a conference”. The aim of the conference was to highlight the fantastic work that was being done in relation falls across North East and Yorkshire.

The North East & Yorkshire Falls Conference (2022) provided a blended learning approach with content for each area ‘preventing, enabling, managing, learning and reflecting’ focusing on falls. Delegates who were specialists in these areas or who were conducting current research were invited to send recorded presentations highlighting their work.

Below, are some examples of the content shared at the conference:


Professor Dawn Skelton, Falls Prevention in Social Care:

Falls are a big problem in social care with up to 75% of residents in a care home having a fall each year (Laing Report, 2017). Studies have found that exercise interventions alone were as effective as multifactorial interventions. Not all exercise is the same. In order for it to be effective, it has to challenge balance, progressive strength training, functional movements, and dose of 50 hours 3x a week over a 6 month time period.


Lee Omar, Safe Steps:

“Safe Steps is a new, innovative way of alleviating staff workload and improving patient care. Falls cost the NHS billions at the moment – with a hip fracture costing on average between £16,000 and £24,000 in one instance – and so with Safe Steps reducing the amount of falls it has the potential of significant savings for the NHS.”

Dr Saif Ahmed, Associate Medical Director/Clinical Director Frailty for Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust.


Danielle Miller & Natalie Howson, I-Stumble Pilot:
When a resident in a care home has fallen, the I-Stumble app can be used as a checklist to conduct an assessment on the resident. During its pilot in Norfolk in 2018, 999 calls were reduced by 34% and non-conveyed attendances by 26%.


Professor Pip Logan and Team, FinCH Study:

The purpose of the trial is to determine the clinical and cost effectiveness of the Guide to Action (GtACH) process for fall prevention in care homes compared to usual care. The GtACH programme reduced falls by 43% and was cost effective. The next study, FinCH Implementation, aims to find how best to use the GtACH programme in everyday practice.


Luke Evans, NEAS, falls training for care homes in North East and Cumbria: past, current and future
Delivering training on falls to support the needs of care home staff. (Falls Initial Response Skills Training). Course was designed around falls prevention.

What happened?

Two-hundred –and-forty-one people across the North East and Yorkshire region signed up for the hybrid event throughout the week. Attendees were able to access content at a time that was convenient for them, with new content being released each day. The event was also tweeted about daily to engage people on social media.

Following the event, the organisers held two ‘Shout, Share, Connect’ sessions in which delegates could attend to discuss their experiences of the conference and current work they have been doing in relation to falls.

‘It was great to hear from a people in a variety of roles across health and social care, all with a common focus of wanting to discuss falls in social care. Discussion was wide-ranging. It also touched on topics beyond falls, including a lively discussion on how to lead and implement change in care homes.’ Dr Lizzie Sweeting (Y&H PSC Work Stream Lead for Managing Deterioration/ Care Homes)

Regarding impacts, the organising team were contacted on Twitter by a reporter at the Guardian to see if he could be out in touch with delegates to discuss their work for a piece of work he was writing up, thus, disseminating the work on a wider scale.

“Seeing so many colleagues come together across academia, health and social care to share their knowledge and expertise on falls was inspirational. A shared passion for reducing falls and of wanting the best for those in our care resulted in a wide variety of presentations and resources that can be used across health and social care in North East and Yorkshire for many months to come. Speaking to people who work in areas such as care homes, physical health improvement teams and falls teams really did drive home how important these events are; the opportunity not just to connect but to learn from each other, breaking down traditional barriers between health and social care to support better outcomes for our communities” (Sarah Monks, Ageing Well Lead)

What’s next?