When an older person falls, it can have devastating consequences. Multiplied across the population, it’s a major public health issue.
A third of people over 65, and half of people over 80, fall at least once a year. Falls are the most common cause of death from injury in the over 65s and cost the NHS over £2bn a year and over 4 million bed days. Nearly 9 million, or one in six people in the population in England was 65 or over at the time of the last census, and the figure is forecast to rise by another 2 million by 2021.
An audit in the division of medicine at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust showed that 49.6% of all inpatients showed signs of cognitive impairment, predominantly dementia and delirium. There was a need to bring activity and cognitive stimulation into these acute environments to ensure that the patients will cognitive impairment have the best experience.
RITA has now been evidenced to dramatically reduce falls across all care settings. Notably, North Tyneside CCG and Dudley Council have evidenced a significant reduction in falls across their care homes following the deployment of RITA. As you would expect a reduction of falls results in a reduction in hospital admissions. The secondary care system in the UK has for many years been stretched beyond capacity with waiting lists growing year on year and the 2020 COVID pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented situation facing our National Health Service. Arguably, there has never been a more important time to reduce/eliminate preventable hospital admissions, not least admissions from the care home sector.
First and foremost these preventable admissions have a high cost on the patients themselves, it has been proven time and time again that when an elderly patient/ patient suffering with Dementia is admitted to hospital there are two major common outcomes. 1. They are discharged with debilitating and high cost complex care needs. 2. They pay the highest price and there is no discharge!
The other price paid is financial and operational. These admissions come with a very high system cost. Ambulance service costs, Impact on A&E waiting times targets, Impact on Elective care waiting times, impact on capacity and demand, cost of theatres, delayed transfers of care and high cost care packages on discharge.
This 2020 article from the Guardian tells and worrying and unacceptable story!