NICE clinical guideline 21 (2004) includes best practice recommendations for healthcare professionals working in community settings on how to assess and prevent falls. The guideline also advises on how to care for people who present at hospital because of a fall, and on what should be done to prevent them from falling again after they return home.
Following a review three years after the guideline’s publication (2007), it was agreed that its recommendations continue to represent best clinical practice for healthcare professionals working in community settings.
Recommendations on preventing falls during hospital stays were not within the remit of the 2004 guideline; therefore, during this review, stakeholders asked NICE to extend its clinical guideline, to include recommendations on the assessment and prevention of falls specifically in inpatient settings, such as hospitals.
NICE has reviewed the available evidence and published its draft recommendations for this specific setting, as part of a public consultation. Registered stakeholders have until Friday 15 February 2013 to submit their feedback on these. Following consultation, all feedback will be considered before the recommendations are finalised. Once published, these will be added to NICE’s existing recommendations in CG21.
As effective falls services require close links between community and inpatient healthcare settings, NICE will develop recommendations on service delivery, as part of its previously announced planned guidance on the assessment and management of comorbidities, long term conditions and complex needs. This will be in addition to NICE’s planned extension of CG21. This is because the components of service delivery for people who have had a fall, or who are at risk of falling, warrant more comprehensive consideration alongside those who have more complex needs. Once confirmed, the expected publication schedule for this planned guidance will be made available on NICE’s website.
The published scope of the guideline has been amended to reflect this.