Fall prevention scheme takes award in its stride

A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION: Dr Heather Hall accepts the award for 'positive steps'.
A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION: Dr Heather Hall accepts the award for 'positive steps'.

AN AYRSHIRE initiative that helps the elderly avoid falls has received high praise in the form of its second national award.

The ‘positive steps’ learning pack has won the Achieving Excellence in Learning Development category of the 2012 Advancing Healthcare Awards - less than a year after being named winner of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists’ ‘Dragon’s Den’ competition in October.

Developed by specialists at NHS Ayrshire and Arran in partnership with South Ayrshire Council, the learning resource aims to raise awareness of ways to prevent falls amongst those at risk – particularly older people.

The ‘positive steps’ kit includes visual teaching aids such as a good shoe, laminated slides, and a training script, and has been used by sheltered housing wardens in the area to help keep their residents safe.

Dr Heather Hall, lead practitioner and physiotherapist with NHS Ayrshire and Arran, led the development of the programme.

She said: “This is great news that ‘positive steps’ has won another national award. We truly believe that this is an invaluable product in helping older people avoid falls.

“Each year a third of over 65s will suffer a fall which can deeply affect a person’s confidence and they also have a huge impact on health services. We want to do everything we can to help older people avoid falling and ‘Positive Steps’ will help achieve this.”

Billy McClean, NHS Ayrshire & Arran’s Head of Physiotherapy, added: “We are immensely proud of Heather’s achievement and the continuing success of ‘Positive Steps’. We look forward to supporting her in taking this innovative product to other parts of Ayrshire and Arran and beyond.”

Councillor Philip Saxton, South Ayrshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing, said: “The project has really helped empower older people in Sheltered Housing by giving them the knowledge and information needed to help them prevent a trip or a fall. This enables them to lead independent lives, and boosts their self-confidence which makes a real difference to them on a day to day basis.”

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A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION: Dr Heather Hall accepts the award for Positive Steps