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Falls prevention drive to launch nationwide

The highly successful healthy communities collaborative, which has slashed the number of falls in the elderly, was rolled out nationally last week.

The national primary care development team has cut falls by 60 per cent in Easington, Gateshead and Northampton PCTs, where it has been piloting the scheme since January. Each area has saved some £665,000 in treatment costs.

The community-led project focuses on five causes of falls: eyesight, feet, medication, exercise and environment. An over-65 in the UK dies from a fall every five hours, according to the collaborative.

Linda Henry, director of the collaborative, said the results had been achieved without increasing GP workload. 'GPs were sceptical as they didn't want to see increases in their workload, but got on board once they saw results.'

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