Falls Prevention

The aim of this assignment is to analyse the process of risk assessment and risk management. In order to achieve this The Falls Risk Assessment Tool (FRAT) (Nandy et al 2004) will be applied to the fictional character Ron Wayman from Wessex Bay. The assignment will then discuss how the identified risks could be managed through effective interprofessional working. In doing this the key issues that will be discussed include the efficacy of the FRAT, ethical issues involved in risk management; and issues in collaborating across professional boundaries to promote effective team working as part of a risk management strategy.

Before commencing this assignment it is necessary to consider what we mean by the term risk. Roberts (2002) defines risk as the possibility of injury, harm or loss. Douglas (1992 cited in Titterton 2005) asserts that risk is a social construct, arguing that perceptions of risk vary between societies and between individuals. This is significant for professionals involved in managing risk within health or social care as service users, carers and the interprofessional team may perceive and identify risks differently.

The client to be discussed within this assignment is Ron, a 76 year old gentleman with a diagnosis of COPD living in the community who is housebound, reliant on constant oxygen with poor mobility and a history of falling (Appendix 1). Reading the case study it is clear Ron has complex health and social needs and a host of risks including malnutrition, depression and falls. For the purpose of this assignment the risk of falls will be considered.

A fall can be defined as “unexpected events in which a person comes to the ground or other lower level” (Lamb et al, 2005   p1618) Falls within elderly people are a significant health issue with 1.57 million people aged over 65 having three or more falls each year. (Nazarko 2005)   The implications of falls for Ron are likely to be substantial. Falls are the most common cause of accidental...