The theme for April Falls 2016 was prevention, review and learning from falls. This reinforces the underlying message that “falls prevention is everyone’s business”. This theme applies in all care settings – in hospital, primary and community care, and aged residential care.

Falls-related injury prevention, with a focus on older adults, is also a high priority for ACC and the Ministry of Health. The Commission works closely with both organisations to support and promote integrated approaches for falls and fracture prevention and management.

Using local data

Knowing and learning from your local falls data is vital and can be used in a number of ways. The falls domain of the Atlas of Healthcare Variation and the falls workbook are useful tools for understanding this data. The Atlas is designed to identify variation in the delivery of health care services across New Zealand and to stimulate debate about whether variation is based on differences between populations, or whether it shows variable practice. The falls domain presents data by district health board on falls in people aged 50 and over, and includes data on ACC claims following a fall, hospital admission due to a fall, average bed days and hip fracture indicators.

The data provides the ideal platform for conversations on how to integrate our falls and fracture prevention efforts in a systematic way, all the while maintaining the health and wellbeing of the individual at the centre of all that we do.

Adverse events

A fall in an older person represents an opportunity for managing their risk of falling and harming themselves. But it’s also an opportunity for us to take learning from fall incidents into actions that will benefit others at risk of falling.

Learning starts with a meaningful description of ‘what happened’ and ‘why it happened’. Since a large proportion of falls in institutions are not witnessed, this information will be drawn from a number of sources.

Analysis of incidents looks at causes to determine ‘what would prevent it happening again’ and recommendations tell us ‘what actions to take to reduce the possibility of another fall in similar circumstances’.

2016 April Falls resources

To assist promotion and raise awareness of April Falls a range of promotional material was available to download. Visit the resources page to view and download the materials.

April Falls quiz

The Commission ran the national April Falls quiz from 2013–15 as part of ongoing activity for April Falls. The quizzes are still available online for learning purposes. Make checking your answers an opportunity to learn more – you may like to look up related resources at the links given for most questions.

Access previous versions of the quiz here:


A series of webinars were held throughout April, featuring Commission falls clinical lead Sandy Blake and local and international experts.

Regional themes

Each of the four regional falls networks was encouraged to promote regional themes. Regional themes for April Falls 2016 were:

  • Northern region and First, Do No Harm: using data for improvement
  • Midland region: preventability and learning from falls events
  • Central region: eyes on falls
  • South Island Alliance: partnering with patients and families.

The Commission encouraged health care workers to connect with their regional quality and patient safety campaign coordinators, and falls network clinical leads to ensure activities align and support each other.

Regional falls leads are:

  • Northern region and First, Do No Harm: Karen O’Keeffe
  • Midland region: Sonia Gamblen
  • Central region: Chris McKenna
  • South Island Alliance: Ken Stewart.

Last updated 12/02/2018