Statistics have thrown a new wobbler at Milton Keynes – which now stands in danger of being dubbed the city that can’t stand up.
The number of people falling over and injuring themselves in MK is ‘disturbingly’ higher than the national average.
But the sticky problem is that nobody knows exactly why city people can’t stay on our feet – despite the hospital employing a full-time falls prevention coordinator.
Last year more than 1,000 people toppled so badly that they were admitted to hospital.
Sadly the death rate from accidental falls is even more concerning. Statistics show there are 8.25 deaths from falls per 100,000 population in MK – more than twice the national average.
The figures were highlighted in the newly-published annual report of the local NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, whose members have vowed to do all they can to reduce the fall rate next year.
Milton Keynes Council is already aware of the problem, reporting a “disturbingly high number of injuries from falls given the city’s population, size and demographics.”
The age group most at risk of falls is the over 65s.
But the city fall rate is puzzling because Milton Keynes’ population is YOUNGER than the national average.
But the percentage of city pensioners is expected to rocket over the next decade and council officers are now working with health and social care professionals to find fall prevention strategies.
The most hands-on approach has been from Milton Keynes Hospital, which employs staff nurse Tracey Davies specially to help people stay safely on their feet.
Tracey applied for the post after seeing how badly somebody close to her was affected by a fall. Already she has helped come up with a ‘magic’ anti-fall aid - in the form of slipper socks.
The socks, which have special grippers on the bottom, were recently introduced to the hospital’s League of Friends shop and are already selling like hot cakes.
Tracey said: “It is important to encourage people to talk about falls and discuss their anxiety To have a falls support from community services is vital.”