Prevention better than cure

The Trust has been awarded funding from the North of England Commissioning Support Unit (NECS) to provide training at care homes so staff can prevent falls and identify sepsis at an early stage.

We developed the Falls Initial Response Skills Training (FIRST) provides essential skills to care home staff to respond to, and prevent, falls.  Over the past three years North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) has trained more than 1,300 care home employees.

Feedback from staff has been positive and we have seen a reduction in 999 calls from care homes that have received our training. Emergency calls have been reduced by up to 10% over two years compared with care homes that have not received our training.

Care home staff also report feeling more confident and able to respond to fallers, who are often frail.

The funding will allow the Trust to provide 50 Falls Initial Response Skills Training (FIRST) courses in 2019/20, to a range of care homes across the region.

Funding will also allow us to deliver sepsis awareness training for North East care homes.

The programme will build on NEAS’ existing sepsis awareness course which has been successfully delivered to 210 Durham County Council care home staff across 68 care homes. Course feedback showed delegates felt significantly more competent and confident in identifying sepsis in frail and elderly residents. Delegates were also clear on the processes they were required to follow.

We will deliver 40 courses with up to 15 delegates per course, to reach up to 600 delegates in total. Training will be delivered face-to-face by a NEAS paramedic.  We will be working with NECS, clinical commissioning groups and local authority colleagues to identify and select care homes. In June 2019, NEAS attended a care homes conference led by South Tees CCG.

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