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Falls pathway

SLIPS (Southwark & Lambeth Integrated Care Pathway for Older People with FallS) is dedicated to providing timely and effective evidence based management of clients who have experienced a fall, are at risk of falls or are fearful of falling. The pathway exists to ensure clients receive the most appropriate assessment and treatment for their falls to reduce their risk of falls in the future and maximise independence.

SLIPS is an integrated pathway across Lambeth and Southwark which was set up in accordance with the Department of Health National Service Framework (NSF) for Older People Standard 6: Falls and NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) Clinical Guidelines for Falls. SLIPS successfully achieved the 2005 NSF milestone of establishing an integrated falls service across health and social care.

Assessment

If a client has had a fall, the cause of the fall needs to be investigated. A single fall will prompt either a basic assessment (clients or non healthcare professionals can complete the basic assessment form themselves), a general assessment (the general assessment form can be carried out by a variety of health and social care professionals) and/or a specialist physiotherapy assessment. Completion of the appropriate assessment form (detailed below) will direct the referral to the most appropriate service for comprehensive falls assessment aligned with the clients needs.

If it is suspected that there may be a medical cause for the client’s fall(s) which has not been excluded, please refer the client to their GP or to their local falls clinic if indicated (Guy’s Hospital, King's College Hospital, or the Whittington Centre) for an assessment to determine the cause of their falls.

Please use the following referral criteria to guide referral for medical assessment:

GP Falls clinic consultant
  • Medication review required (on 4 or more medications or no recent review)
  • Hypotension/dizziness
  • Abnormal blood glucose
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Risk of Osteoporosis
  • Blackout
  • Unexplained fall (not environmental and requires further assessment following GP review)

If there are no medical causes for the clients fall(s), a referral should be made for a physiotherapy assessment (community therapy or day hospital/older person’s assessment unit) unless the client is already undergoing physiotherapy through another service. The physiotherapist will then decide on the most appropriate form of intervention.