NSPECTORS FIND "DICKENSIAN" CONDITIONS IN NHS WARD

ACCIDENT-PRONE BRITS FALLING OVER COST NHS MILLIONS

Simple falls are costing NHS hospitals nearly £1 BILLION a year to treat – including £65 million for people who have fallen out of bed and almost £1 million for tumbles out of trees.

New data reveals that more than 400,000 people were treated for falls last year, including 98,000 ‘slips, trips and stumbles’ and 40,000 falls down the stairs.

Falls from bed resulted in 22,000 visits to hospital, similar mishaps with chairs accounted for over 12,000, while 1,141 needed treatment after falling from a tree.

The 400,000 injuries resulted in 2.2 million days spent in hospital – and with average day on a ward costing £400, the total cost to the NHS could be £880 million.

The figures, relating to the year 2014-15, were released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

Falls from playground equipment resulted in 8,527 hospital visits, with 42 of those aged over 80.

More than 6,800 people fell from ladders, 463 from scaffolding and more than 5,000 fell out of or through a building.

The figures reveal a sharp rise in falls as people enter old age, with the majority of bed falls relating the elderly.

However, there were seven hospital admissions for people over the age of 90 who fell while skateboarding or ice-skating.

The total cost of beds for those injured while roller skating, skateboarding or skiing adds up to £2.5 million, while £4.6 million was spent on bed days for people who had stacked it on ice or snow.

A third of people over 65 – and half of people over 80 – fall at least once a year and falls are the most common cause of death from injury in the over 65s.

Public Health England have said that although conditions in the elderly – such as Parkinson’s, dementia or loss of balance – can contribute to falls, excessive alcohol and being out of shape are also factors.

Poor lifestyle choices like drinking and smoking can cause conditions such as osteoporosis – which weakens the bones and makes Brits all the more susceptible to falling in later life.

The World Health Organisation has even reported that diet plays a important role in preventing falls, as inadequate lack of protein can cause weaknesses and slow recovery.

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    • Overseeing countless major stories that have spawned over a career more than three decades long, our editor Andrew became one of the UK’s youngest ever staff reporters when he landed a job on the Today newspaper during the mid-80s. With news in his veins and being the son of the great Daily Mirror journalist Syd Young, Andrew is now a director at news agency SWNS.

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