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April Falls in the Northern Region

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

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

Each of the four regional falls networks was encouraged to promote regional themes and in the Northern Region and for First, Do No Harm the theme that was adopted was using data for improvement.

HQSC states that “Knowing and learning from your local falls data is vital and can be used in a number of ways. 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."

Each of the DHBs promoted April Falls in various ways. Northland had a variety of activites and displays, with a feature on their website during the month of April. They also ran a competition for staff, and promoted the theme ‘examine our data’.

Waitemata District Health Board (WDHB) reports that it still has around 1400 falls each year and around 32 with harm. During April Falls month, they focussed on ‘call bells being everybody's business - answer bells with kindness and compassion’ They aimed to improve call bell response etiquette and how people were made to feel when staff answer call bells.

Counties Manukau Health held one-hour education sessions for staff that have an interest in falls prevention. The sessions included a review of their local data on falls and a case review of serious harm from a fall which gave an opportunity for staff to have further discussion on falls prevention.