Update on April Falls 2014

31 Mar 2014 | Reducing Harm from Falls

The Health Quality & Safety Commission's Reducing Harm from Falls programme is pleased to hear that district health boards (DHBs) and many other providers are underway with local activities for April Falls.

Key themes for April Falls 2014 are:

  • risk assessment – systematically identifying risk factors for falling in older people at risk
  • care planning – implementing individualised interventions and supports which address those risk factors
  • safe care environment – making sure the environment and care is safe for all older people, regardless of their individual risk profile.

Regional approach

A variety of activities are planned over the month of April across the regional falls networks. Each region has a focus on a element in safe care environments:

  • Northern region and First, Do No Harm are focusing on falls related to bedrails.
  • Midland region is focused on safe footwear.
  • Central region is focusing on signalling for safe mobilising.
  • The South Island Alliance is focusing on safe care environments.

A tool supporting the safe care environment theme, ‘April audit: How safe is the care environment’ will be available for download by the end of this week and can be adapted for local use. Topic 4 Safe environment and safe care: essential in preventing falls is another downloadable resource.

Second annual national April Falls Quiz

The Quiz will run from 10–29 April and can be entered online, via your smartphone, or by freepost. The Quiz flyer is on Commission’s website here, and we ask that you promote this activity in your organisation by providing links to the flyer and/or printing copies to display in staff areas. Please promote the Quiz via social media once it goes live online on 10 April.

Dr Frances Healey visit and regional workshops

The Commission is hosting Dr Frances Healey from 7–11 April 2014.

Dr Healey is a Registered Nurse (Adult, Mental Health) whose involvement in senior clinical and management roles in older person’s care (in acute general and mental health settings) led to an interest in falls as one of the most significant safety risks for this vulnerable group.

Frances’ leadership in national improvement projects at the National Patient Safety Agency and NHS, and publications on falls prevention, are relevant to New Zealand at both policy and practical levels – and she is keen to learn from the approaches we’re taking in New Zealand. We have referenced her publications in many of the 10 Topics in reducing harm from falls, recognising her expertise in bringing together evidence and advocacy for critical thinking and clinical judgement in relation to an individual.

Frances will be presenting at regional workshops in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, early indications are that these session have proven to be very popular so only limited spaces are now available – workshop details are available on our website.

Ask, assess, act resources

The Ask, assess, act project supports the risk assessment and care planning themes.

A package of Ask, assess, act resources will be dispatched to DHBs and some community care providers on Friday 4 April, containing:

  • Ask, assess, act pocket cards (revised version)
  • Ask, assess, act A2 posters
  • Ask, assess, act stickers and balloons.

Access to these items is being coordinated through regional falls networks and teams. Please contact Julene.Hope@hqsc.govt.nz if you would like to know who to work through in your area.

Web resources supporting Ask, assess, act will be available by the end of this week:

Dame Kate Harcourt story book and photo album

Dame Kate’s fall: key messages, her story (in short and long versions) and a photo album for use in your local promotions will be available for download from our website by Friday 4 April.

Regional roundups

Please send us your April Falls stories and photos, or better still, links to this information on your websites.

Last updated 01/04/2014