Falling can cause injury, pain, loss of confidence and loss of independence. This is undesirable for the individual and their family, and places significant demands on health and social care services.
Research has shown that FaME results in fewer falls, improved confidence, and reduced fear-of-falling. Despite this, FaME is still not available everywhere across England.
A research team at NIHR Applied Research Collaboration South West Peninsula (PenARC) were keen to understand how best to increase FaME’s availability and ensure high-quality delivery. They set up the FLEXI study (FaLls EXercise Implementation), a wider scale-up of the FaME programme.
Using an implementation guide they had created, the research team wanted to see if FaME could be made more available in two new, and very different, regions: Greater Manchester and Devon, and assess whether FaME works in these populations.
The South West AHSN was asked to provide support with the implementation in Devon.
We trained five people from the research team in the Model for Unleashing method at the Spread Academy we delivered with the Billions Institute in October 2021.
Since then, we have provided the research team and the national FaME implementation team with coaching and workshops to support them to develop the skills and capability required to spread their innovation in Devon and other regions.
Additional funding has been awarded to recruit a knowledge mobilisation lead who will develop a plan specific for FaME based on FLEXI, work with the study team to finalise the FaME Implementation toolkit, liaise with key partners e.g. World Health Organisation falls prevention team, Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID), NHS England to promote the toolkit and findings, represent the study team on the national falls prevention group (led by OHID), and summarise outcomes for the next Research Excellence Framework impact case study on falls.
Dr Elizabeth Orton, Chief Investigator, FLEXI study