The Health Quality & Safety Commission's Reducing Harm from Falls programme has been supporting district health boards (DHBs) and other providers in their falls prevention work each year, in a month-long promotion called April Falls.

The 'campaign' approach during April has grown each year and similar approaches have been adopted internationally, for example in New South Wales.

In New Zealand the focus on falls prevention during the month of April is a way of sharing the work going on across the sector and continuing to strengthen relationships and networks. It is an opportunity to learn from the successes and challenges to inform ongoing quality improvement in the care being provided, in particular to our older and more vulnerable population.

From 2013–15 we promoted an April Falls quiz and, a national survey and competition. The quiz allowed respondents to test their knowledge on falls risks and prevention, and offered prizes to be used in professional or practice development.

The April Falls quiz remains a live resource that can still be used year on year as a key fun learning and team building exercise.

In past years, DHBs have adopted different themes. Each year the Commission has promoted a ‘national theme’ and provided resources for DHBs and other providers to use.

2018 is the last year that the Commission will provide the level of support for April Falls that it has to date.

The theme in 2018 will be Live Stronger For Longer, and we’re encouraging DHB hospital falls prevention staff to connect with the Live Stronger For Longer community strength and balance programme lead agencies and the local community falls working groups to run DHB-wide, integrated April Falls events.  Live Stronger For Longer resources can be ordered for free from ACC.

April Falls themes

  • 2013: 'Falls prevention is everyone's business' and 'Falls hurt'.
  • 2014: Regional approaches saw a range of April Falls activities with a common theme of 'safe care environments'.
  • 2015: The 2015 theme was an integrated approach to falls prevention. We encouraged DHB regions to work together and link with their primary and community care partners.
  • 2016: Embracing prevention right through to review and learning from falls events
  • 2017: Stand up to falls – the Commission is revisiting this earlier theme as part of our efforts to sustain the success of New Zealand public hospitals in reducing the number of in-hospital falls that result in a broken hip.
  • 2018: Live Stronger For Longer – this takes the falls prevention theme of April Falls to its widest definition and is about joining up the in-hospital falls prevention work with the community falls and fracture prevention work that has been led by ACC as part of their Live Stronger For Longer campaign. Resources can be ordered for free from ACC here.

Find out more about April Falls ideas, activities and supporting resources by using the left-hand menu.

Last updated 28/02/2018