Central Bedfordshire falls prevention survey

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire (HWCB) approached a popular local community group; University of the Third Age (U3A), to talk to their members, raise awareness of falls prevention, and to discuss and distribute HWCB’s survey designed to ascertain their awareness of changes that might need to be made to their home in order to prevent falls in later life. Members were also asked to tell us what help they require in this area of self-care. The U3A is a democratic, self-funded and self-managed organisation providing daytime educational and leisure activities at minimal cost for all local residents who are retired or not in full-time employment. This group of people were an ideal representative sample for HWCB’s Falls Prevention survey. Over 100 people were in attendance on the day HWCB presented the survey. HWCB staff and volunteers developed nine main questions, plus follow-up multiple choice questions, within the survey, to give respondents the opportunity to associate their answers with the situations suggested. The survey was designed to spark recognition of likely hazards, normally taken for granted, and to gather information relating to thought patterns on the subjects covered, for example, ‘Do you have rugs on the floor?’ Many people have rugs on the floor for aesthetics but may not have considered them a trip hazard. The questions were designed specifically to probe for responses that may not have been triggered on a daily basis. In total over 120 surveys were distributed; 100 were given directly to attendees on the day of the meeting and, for those who did not wish to complete the survey on the day, a further twenty were posted to attendees following the meeting. Of the 120 questionnaires given out, 40 were completed and returned by the end of the meeting, a further 21 were received by post within the following three weeks, one questionnaire had been misprinted and was therefore incomplete, and two were received after the cut off time and were not counted. The total number of responses informing this report was therefore 61. The responses to the survey suggests the following key findings: Nearly half our sample lives alone; the overwhelming majority are owner occupiers; their overall morbidity appears to reflect the known incidences of long term conditions for the over 65 age group; less than half of the sample exercise for the recommended 2.5hrs a week; less than half the group had an eye test last year; over a quarter of the group use a walking aid; a large majority of the group are on-line using both the internet and social media; over half the group do not engage in regular foot care; a sizable majority of the sample 57% have experienced a fall hazard in their local neighbourhood and an even greater majority have struggled with kerb heights 72%; whilst the group do seem to plan effectively for many of their long term requirements they do not appear to plan for reduced mobility and flexibility in the home; very few members of the sample live in level access accommodation but, perhaps because they feel safe, connected and known in their local community, they do not anticipate moving. The report includes 2 recommendations . The report does not include a response from the provider.

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General details

Report title 
Central Bedfordshire falls prevention survey
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 20 September, 2017
Date evidence capture began 
Wednesday, 20 September, 2017
Date evidence capture finished 
Wednesday, 20 September, 2017
Type of report 
Report
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Health promotion
Health protection
Support
Healthwatch reference number 
Rep-1636

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
No
What type of organisation requested the work 
N/A
Primary research method used 
Survey
How was the information collected? 
Survey
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 
N/A

Details of health and care services included in the report

Other services 
Equipment service

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
61
Age group 
Not known
Gender 
Not known
Ethnicity 
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Yes
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
No
Does the information include staff's views? 
No
Does the information include other people's views? 
No
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 
Mixed

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Yes
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
No
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
No
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
No

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
 
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
 
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.