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The National Falls and Bone Health Audit: implications for UK emergency care
  1. Jay Banerjee1,
  2. Jonathan Benger1,
  3. Jonathan Treml2,
  4. Finbarr C Martin2,
  5. Rob Grant2,
  6. Derek Lowe2,
  7. Jonathan Potter2,
  8. Janet Husk2
  1. 1Clinical Effectiveness Committee, College of Emergency Medicine, London, UK
  2. 2Clinical Standards Department, Clinical Effectiveness and Evaluation Unit, Royal College of Physicians, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jay Banerjee, Emergency Department, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Infirmary Square, Leicester LE1 5WW, UK; jb234{at}


Introduction The National Clinical Audit of Falls and Bone Health, coordinated by the Royal College of Physicians, assesses progress in implementing integrated falls services across the UK against national standards and enables benchmarking between service providers. Nationally, falls are a leading contributor towards mortality and morbidity in older people and account for 700 000 visits to emergency departments and 4 million annual bed days in England alone.

Methods Two rounds of national organisational audit in 2005 and 2008 and one national clinical audit in 2006 were carried out based on indicators developed by a multidisciplinary group.

Results These showed that management of falls and bone health in older people remains suboptimal in emergency departments and minor injury units and opportunities are being missed in carrying out evidence-based risk assessment and management.

Conclusions Older people attending emergency departments in the UK following a fall are receiving a poor deal. There is an urgent need to ensure more effective assessment and management to prevent further falls and fractures.

  • Emergency departments
  • paediatrics
  • paediatric emergency medicine, cost effectiveness
  • education
  • prehospital care
  • nursing
  • cardiac care
  • anaesthesia
  • drug abuse
  • guidelines
  • fractures and dislocations

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.