£7m falls bill for over 65s in Morecambe Bay

Dr Sam Moon.
Dr Sam Moon.

More than £7m a year is being spent on falls related injuries for patients over the age of 65 in Morecambe Bay.

Figures released by Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) show that from January 2018 until December 2018 there were 1872 falls that required hospital treatment, costing the local NHS a total of £7,333,265.14.

These statistics relate to Morecambe Bay patients who are over the age of 65.

Many falls are preventable so to help relieve pressure on the health and care systems in Morecambe Bay, the CCG will be sharing messages over the next eight months on how to prevent falls and if you do fall, what to do next.

Dr Sam Moon, GP Lead for Falls at Morecambe Bay CCG said: “Not all falls are avoidable, however we will be encouraging people aged from around 40 and above to take part in exercises which will keep their muscles strong and help them remain mobile and independent for longer.

“As we get older, we become frail and a fall can result in a much more serious injury, like a fracture, which takes a lot longer to recover from than when we were younger. Simple tips like strength and balance exercises, eating the right diet and certain home adaptions can prevent someone from having a nasty fall and save them a trip to A&E.”

The first theme which kicks off the campaign, starts today (Monday April 1) and is being launched as April Falls Day.

A lot of falls can be associated with poor balance so throughout April, Morecambe Bay CCG will be promoting exercises which can improve your balance.

Lorna Brown, advanced practice physiotherapist in the Furness area said: “It’s so important to try and stop people from falling over in the first place. Last year, almost 2000 people ended up in hospital after a fall in Morecambe Bay and so many serious injuries and complications can result from a nasty fall. The main reason behind this campaign is to improve health outcomes for our communities.

“Everyone needs to remember that falling is not the norm, usually there’s a reason behind it whether that be an underlying health problem or a balance issue, but either way you should always report a fall.

“There are plenty of exercises that a person can do to improve their balance, for example walking sideways, walking heel to toe and doing one-leg stands.”

If you’d like more information on balance exercises you can either speak to your GP, or if you have access to the internet visit the NHS website and look at the recommended exercises at www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/balance-exercises.

Morecambe Bay CCG will be posting tips on falls prevention on their Facebook page which can be found at www.facebook.com/morecambebayccg.