69SCREENING FOR FALLS AND SYNCOPE RISK FACTORS IN PRIMARY CARE IS CLINICALLY EFFECTIVE: PRELIMINARY EVALUATION OF THE NORTH TYNESIDE FALLS PREVENTION SERVICE (NTFPS)

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Abstract

Background: Falls are a major health and health economic burden but case ascertainment remains inadequate. The NTFPS was developed to proactively screen for falls risk factors in primary care. We present data from the Service's first 3 years operation.

Innovation: General practice case notes are screened for falls risk factors and syncope for those >60 years and one of:

• >4 medications (antihypertensives/ antianginals/ psychoactives)

• Fragility fractures

• Recurrent falls (≥2 per NICE guidance6)

• Blackouts (any in last year, ≥2 in last 2 years)

Excluded if known to existing services. Screening questionnaire then sent to clarify risks and invited to attend for comprehensive multidisciplinary assessment per NICE guidelines.

Evaluation: Questionnaire response rate was 72%. Total 3308 (28/09/09-13/01/13); Mean age 75.9 years(range 60-100); 2018 (61%) female; 853(25.8%) referred to associated Age UK strength and balance training classes

Clinical findings and outcomes not previously known to GP:

Conclusion: This novel approach pays huge dividends for falls and syncope prevention and bone health. Further work is needed to clarify those at most risk to ensure appropriate resource targeting.

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