Achieving changes in practice from national audit: national audit of the organization of services for falls and bone health in older people

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Abstract

Aims

Falls in older people are associated with increased mortality, physical injury, loss of function and independence. The extent to which trusts had met the requirements to implement an integrated falls service for older people by April 2005 was assessed by the performance of a national organizational audit.

Method

A report was produced for each participating site, containing their local audit results compared to the national picture. A scoring system was devised so that each site could be attributed an ‘organizational’ score and section scores. Thus, plans for a workshop developed to: learn from ‘High Performers’ regarding how they achieved services; use ‘expert’ knowledge and gain understanding about how to formulate action points.

Results

To complete the audit process, chief executives were asked to provide their action plans. Some sites had clearly used their audit results and their scores. This was identified by statements such as ‘recognised that performance was well below the national average in two sector scores’, as a result of which, an immediate action plan was drawn up.

Conclusion

The results of a national audit, especially when linked to a scoring system, can help local services benchmark themselves which, in association with action planning workshops and commitment from trusts, can achieve changes in practice.

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