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Preventing harm from falls – making it happen together

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Every year approximately 60,000 people in Ireland require medical attention following a fall. There can be significant personal, health and financial costs involved. Falls have a devastating impact on older people causing pain and suffering, loss of independence and, for some, the need for nursing home care.

Strategies which support ageing and promote good bone health can help to prevent falls and promote better outcomes for people who have suffered an injury as a result of a fall. AFFINITY is the national HSE falls and bone health project involving a range of professionals from across health services. CES has been engaged by the HSE to develop an evaluation framework for the AFFINITY project.

All services can play a part in reducing harm from falls. AFFINITY involves bringing together primary and secondary health services, with rehabilitation and other allied health services, to work towards a common agenda, and to measuring outcomes collectively. This requires significant, systems change.

CES made a presentation at the AFFINITY National Falls and Bone Health Symposium in September. Our presentation focused on two aspects of the project – implementation and evaluation. Katie Burke from CES spoke about what can help implementation of complex systems change initiatives, for example, implementation teams and communications approaches. Claire Hickey outlined the development of an evaluation framework for AFFINITY - based on a review of literature and project documentation, and consultation with stakeholders. Evaluation can be a real driver for systems change - by helping to improve an intervention, and the ways in which it is implemented.

Partners working on this project together with the HSE include the State Claims Agency and Age Friendly Ireland. The AFFINITY project runs from 2018 to 2023.

To read more about Affinity, click here