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Shortfall in elderly aftercare

A report has found that the NHS is missing opportunities to prevent injuries in aftercare for elderly patients who are suffering fractures in falls.

According to a study by the Royal College of Physicians, many NHS trusts are failing to provide adequate aftercare and as a result they are failing to comply with national guidelines.

The audit, commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP), found that trusts are missing opportunities to prevent "recurrent falls and fractures" and home safety assessments "could be better".

Figures show that over-65s in England spend four million days a year in bed as a result of falls and fractures.

Jonathan Treml, associate director of the National Falls and Bone Health Audit Programme, said: "This audit demonstrates that the services provided for older people at risk of falls and fractures fall short of the services that the evidence supports, that national guidelines dictate and that older people deserve."

Robin Burgess, chief executive of HQIP, added that the report shows a "shortfall in after-care services being offered to patients who have fallen and fractured bones".

The National Osteoporosis Society is calling for the NHS to identify those at risk, which it believes could save "time, money and lives".

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Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership