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Ambulance Operations - Falls Response Service

Aging Well in Wales estimates that between 230,000 and 460,000 people over the age of 60 experience a fall in Wales each year. Some of these falls will result in a 999 call to the Welsh Ambulance Service. Of these calls, almost half can be treated at home and do not require an emergency ambulance.

Since January 2018, we have been commissioned by the Welsh Ambulance Service to work with them to respond to calls from people who have fallen in communities across Wales. The Falls and Frailty Response Service provided by St John Ambulance Cymru, is an integral part of the Welsh Ambulance Service’s Falls and Frailty Framework, which plays a pivotal role in supporting people in their community when they need it most.

We aim to improve the experience and outcome of those who have fallen by working to reduce the time it takes to get to the patient, to assess patients at home, to reduce admissions to hospitals and to try and prevent future falls.

The service operates across Wales and is initiated by a 999-call received by the Welsh Ambulance Service. Our falls assistants are then dispatched to the location of the call and perform a patient assessment. Working in collaboration with clinicians from the Welsh Ambulance Service we aim to ensure that the most appropriate treatment is provided and that any onward referrals are completed.

Since the start of the scheme in 2018, our Falls and Frailty Response Service has attended over 17,000 patients.

The service has helped to reduce the number of emergency ambulance callouts, enabling them to attend more life-threatening calls. It has also allowed many of those who rang 999, who were often vulnerable or elderly, to stay at home.

For all serious or life-threatening emergencies, please call 999.

Frequently asked questions?

Is it possible to request a falls assistant directly?

No, a falls assistant would only be available after contacting 999 or pressing a lifeline button, they cannot be booked privately.

How do you pick up fallers?

Through our commissioned service, we ensure that all patients are assessed before they are moved. If appropriate, and to reduce the impact of lifting patients for both our staff and the patient, we use the Mangar Camel and Eagle lifting cushions to raise patients from the floor.

Do all fallers you attend have to go to hospital?

No, around 60% of the fallers we attend remain at home. Working with the Welsh Ambulance Service and other partners, after permission has been received, we can arrange follow up support if required.

Where is the falls response service located?

Our service is pan-Wales with cars located in each of the Welsh Local Health Board areas.

I am interested in finding out more about your falls response service. Who do I contact?

More information can be obtained by contacting pts@sjacymru.org.uk.


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