TRAINING provided by ambulance staff in the region to care homes has resulted in a reduction in 999 calls and hospital.

North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) has worked with the region’s Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to improve residents’ care and to reduce pressure on health care services.

The falls response training aimed to empower nurses and staff by giving them the skills and confidence to deal with residents who have taken ill, or had a fall, to enable care to be provided more quickly and closer to the patient.

Elaine McDonald, head of workforce development at NEAS, said: “Giving care home staff the skills and confidence to deal with falls in the most appropriate way enables them to put the care of their patients first – which doesn’t always mean calling 999.

“Since the training took place there has also been a demonstrable reduction in 999 call volume, which appears to show direct correlation with those care homes which have attended the training, reducing overall pressure on healthcare services.

“Overall, there is a benefit for our frail elderly, care home staff, front-line healthcare resources and secondary care organisations and we hope to continue this programme with other care homes across the region.”

Falls-related injuries particularly affect the frail elderly, with 30 per cent of people aged 65 and older and 50 per cent of people aged 80 and older falling at least once a year.