• Complexity of the decision-making process of ambulance staff for assessment and referral of older people who have fallen: a qualitative study

      Halter, Mary; Vernon, Susan; Snooks, Helen; Porter, Alison; Close, Jacqueline; Moore, Fionna; Porsz, Simon (2011-01)
      BACKGROUND: Older people who fall commonly present to the emergency ambulance service, and approximately 40% are not conveyed to the emergency department (ED), despite an historic lack of formal training for such decisions. This study aimed to understand the decision-making processes of emergency ambulance staff with older people who have fallen. METHODS: During 2005 ambulance staff in London tested a clinical assessment tool for use with the older person who had fallen. Documented use of the tool was low. Following the trial, 12 staff participated in semistructured interviews. Interviews were recorded and transcribed. Thematic analysis was carried out. RESULTS: The interviews revealed a similar assessment and decision-making process among participants: Prearrival: forming an early opinion from information from the emergency call. Initial contact: assessing the need for any immediate action and establishing a rapport. Continuing assessment: gathering and assimilating medical and social information. Making a conveyance decision: negotiation, referral and professional defence, using professional experience and instinct. CONCLUSIONS: An assessment process was described that highlights the complexity of making decisions about whether or not to convey older people who fall and present to the emergency ambulance service, and a predominance of informal decision-making processes. The need for support for ambulance staff in this area was highlighted, generating a significant challenge to those with education roles in the ambulance service. Further research is needed to look at how new care pathways, which offer an alternative to the ED may influence decision making around non-conveyance. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/28/1/44.full.pdf This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emj.2009.079566
    • Emergency care of older people who fall: a missed opportunity

      Snooks, Helen; Halter, Mary; Close, Jacqueline; Cheung, Wai Yee; Moore, Fionna; Roberts, Stephen E. (2006-12-01)
      A high number of emergency (999) calls are made for older people who fall, with many patients not subsequently conveyed to hospital. Ambulance crews do not generally have protocols or training to leave people at home, and systems for referral are rare. The quality and safety of current practice is explored in this study, in which for the first time, the short-term outcomes of older people left at home by emergency ambulance crews after a fall are described. Results will inform the development of care for this population. https://qualitysafety.bmj.com/content/15/6/390 This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ DOI 10.1136/qshc.2006.018697
    • Older fallers: the risk and opportunity of ambulance non conveyance

      Halter, Mary; Snooks, Helen; Close, Jacqueline; Cheung, Wai Yee; Moore, Fionna (2006-04)
      Large numbers of older people fall every year. Interdisciplinary intervention can reduce the risk of falling, and the use of integrated falls services for ambulance attended patients has been promoted. Non conveyance of fallers by ambulance staff is high but the triage system is informal. This study tested whether the introduction of an assessment tool would enable emergency ambulance staff to leave older fallers at home safely. https://emj.bmj.com/content/23/4/e31 This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emj.2005.032946